Infrastructure bill could make Phoenix-to-Tucson passenger rail possible

Nov 15, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 12:00 pm

(Facebook photo/Amtrak)...

(Facebook photo/Amtrak)

(Facebook photo/Amtrak)

PHOENIX — The $1 trillion infrastructure bill that U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona helped negotiate could help pay for a passenger rail service that would connect Phoenix and Tucson, making it easier to travel back and forth.

Amtrak in July released an expansion proposal detailing a passenger rail service between the two cities that could begin service in as little as three years. The company wants to offer three round-trips per day between Phoenix and Tucson, with the trip taking 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Sinema noted in a call with Arizona reporters last week that the bill includes funding for a national network of freight and passenger rail lines.

“So not only are we building up and supporting the freight network, which is an important part of Arizona’s commerce … but this also provides an opportunity for us to create a new rail for passengers that would connect Phoenix and Tucson together,” the Democratic senator said.

“It’s certainly part of the mix as we move forward in talking about what that national network looks like,” she added. “Voters in Arizona can be assured that I’ll be knocking on the door of Amtrak and our federal agencies to ensure that Arizona receives every penny of its fair share so that we also are benefiting from both freight and passenger rail.”

After passing with bipartisan support in Congress, President Joe Biden was expected to sign the infrastructure bill into law Monday. It includes $66 billion for Amtrak to invest in the passenger rail system.

Amtrak’s CEO Bill Flynn said in a recent interview with Axios and HBO that it would be the largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak’s creation 50 years ago.

He also mentioned it would help expand passenger rail service to areas in the U.S. where there are few or no routes.

“Phoenix to Tucson is a great example,” Flynn said.

Prospective stations would be located in Phoenix, Buckeye, Goodyear-Avondale, Tempe and Queen Creek.

The proposal has the support of city leaders.

Mayors of 11 Arizona cities, led by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, wrote a letter to Arizona’s congressional delegation in mid-July urging them to back Amtrak’s vision to bring passenger rail to the state.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Someburros Photo)...

David Veenstra

Someburros sets opening date for first San Tan Valley location

Someburros, a family-operated Mexican food chain, is opening its first San Tan Valley location next month.

2 hours ago

“Boots in the Park” is returning to Tempe for the third time this weekend, prompting several st...

David Veenstra

Kane Brown headlines ‘Boots in the Park’ concert in Tempe this weekend

“Boots in the Park” is returning to Tempe for the third time this weekend, prompting several street closures and restrictions near the event.

2 hours ago

A view of the Cubes at Glendale industrial park. At full build-out it will total about 5.5 million ...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Phoenix still a top US market for big-box industrial growth, report says

Phoenix has kept its title as one of the top markets in the country for the growth of large warehouse space even as the sector has cooled off nationally, according to a CBRE Group Inc. report.

3 hours ago

Jamarr Dwayne Young, pictured above, is 33, authorities said. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office pho...

Man accused of domestic violence killed bicyclist while fleeing from authorities, Phoenix police say

An Arizona man was arrested after allegedly killing a pedestrian while fleeing from Phoenix police, authorities announced on Friday.

12 hours ago

Casita bill, or HB 2070, passed in Arizona House...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona House Democrat explains how ‘casita bill’ can help fight the state’s housing shortage

The so-called "casita" bill was passed by the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday. Rep. Analise Ortiz breaks down the benefits.

13 hours ago


Nick Borgia

Arizona woman accused of involvement in major North Korean fraud scheme

An Arizona woman is being prosecuted for allegedly assisting in North Korean fraud schemes to place overseas IT workers in U.S. positions.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Infrastructure bill could make Phoenix-to-Tucson passenger rail possible