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Phoenix-Tucson train long way off, as much as $10 billion

The long-anticipated construction of a Phoenix-to-Tucson train may be as long as 10 years off and several billion dollars away, according to a recent report.

The Arizona Daily Star spoke with Arizona Department of Transportation officials, who say the project could be as much as $10 billion and no less than $4 billion.

Preliminary drafts of the plan have been submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transportation Administration, who will assess environmental impact and report back in coming months. The federal government is expected to fund 50 percent of the project, according to an ADOT spokesperson.

Future feasibility studies are planned that would estimate ridership figures and costs to operate the system.

While ADOT continues to work on the rail plan and will hold public hearings on the environmental assessment, the realization of passenger trains shuttling people from Tucson to Phoenix and parts in between is years off.

According to ADOT, a full funding today would result in completion in eight to 10 years.