Amtrak seeks federal funding to bring passenger rail back to Phoenix

Jun 7, 2023, 10:06 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

Photo of an Amtrak train. Amtrak has applied for federal funding to bring passenger rail service ba...

(Amtrak Photo)

(Amtrak Photo)

PHOENIX – Amtrak has applied for federal funding to bring passenger rail service back to Phoenix for the first time since 1996.

The company is seeking $716 million from the Federal Railroad Administration under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for 16 projects nationwide, including routing the Sunset Limited train line through Phoenix, the largest U.S. city without Amtrak service.

“It’s really, frankly, an embarrassment that we don’t serve such a major and prominent city,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said during a U.S. House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.

The Sunset Limited runs between Los Angeles and New Orleans and has multiple stops in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana.

The closest it gets to Phoenix is Maricopa, about 40 miles to the south. The other Arizona stops are in Yuma, Tucson and Benson.

“Arizonans have wanted passenger train service between Phoenix and Tucson for decades, so there’s no surprise that this effort has significant local and state support,” Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Arizona) said during Tuesday’s hearing.

Stanton said passenger rail between the state’s two largest cities would relieve congestion on Interstate 10, reduce pollution and boost regional economies.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has provided $3.5 million toward the planning effort.

“As other communities have gained access to passenger rail, they’ve experienced significant new economic opportunities,” Stanton said. “But Arizona has missed out.”

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

office building with trees...

SuElen Rivera

2 Phoenix Biltmore-area office buildings sell for $72.1 million

Two large office buildings that sit along the heart of the Camelback Corridor in Phoenix recently sold for $72.1 million. 

33 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jers...

Associated Press

3rd Republican presidential debate is set for Nov. 8 in Miami, with the strictest qualifications yet

The third Republican presidential debate will be held in Miami on Nov. 8, a day after several states hold off-year elections.

2 hours ago

During the equinox, the Earth’s axis and its orbit line up so that both hemispheres get an equal ...

Associated Press

The fall equinox is here. What does that mean?

The equinox arrives on Saturday, marking the start of the fall season for the Northern Hemisphere. But what does that actually mean?

3 hours ago

Tempe police officer Candance Kanavel is competing in the Miss USA pagaent. (City of Tempe)...

Danny Shapiro

Tempe police officer to compete in Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona

A Tempe police officer will trade in her badge for a crown next week when she competes in the Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona.

5 hours ago

A Border Patrol officer sits inside his car as he guards the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Ar...

Serena O'Sullivan

Gov. Hobbs to grant $10 million to Nogales Police Department for border security

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Friday a $10 million grant to the Nogales Police Department that will help protect the U.S.-Mexico border.

6 hours ago

Chandler residents can apply to 4 new assistance programs...

Serena O'Sullivan

New programs help Chandler residents with neighborhood improvements

Chandler residents could soon say goodbye to cracked sidewalks, cat colonies and loneliness thanks to four city assistance programs.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Ignite Digital

How to unlock the power of digital marketing for Phoenix businesses

All businesses around the Valley hopes to maximize their ROI with current customers and secure a greater market share in the digital sphere.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

Amtrak seeks federal funding to bring passenger rail back to Phoenix