Salt Lake City Airport Trains (SLC)
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is located approximately 5 miles northwest of downtown Salt Lake City, and is the largest airport in the state of Utah. It is also considered as one of the busiest in the United States of America, as around twenty million passengers pass through its terminals every year. Many of these passengers travel to and from the airport by public transportation, and also by private shuttle buses and taxi services. Currently, however, there are no Salt Lake City International Airport trains, but in the near future, a light rail track will be available to the airport.
This airport in the state of Utah has two terminal buildings that consist of five concourses. The Terminals are referred to as ‘1’ and ‘2’ and the concourses are named as A, B, C, D and E. Each terminal has a large selection of shops and restaurants, and offers many other services, such as free Wi-Fi, banking and cash machines, baby changing areas, restrooms that are accessible by passengers with disabilities, mail boxes and fax and photocopy services. The main airline companies of the airport include Delta Air Lines, various Delta Connection Airlines such as SkyWest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and American Eagle. Reaching the airport for a departure flight is quite simple by private vehicle, as parking options are available, or by public transport, as the UTA buses travel every half an hour from the city centre. Although there is no rail station at the airport yet, in the next year or two passengers will be able to take trains to and from the airport.
Salt Lake City has a three-line light rail system that is known as TRAX, or Transit Express. The lines serve Salt Lake City as well as several nearby suburbs in Salt Lake County. The first line of the system was opened in 1999, and runs trains from the city’s downtown area to Sandy, which is to the south of the central Salt Lake City area. It is referred to as the Blue Line, or the UTA Route 701, and there are 21 stations along the way. This line is approximately 18 miles in length, or 29km. The city’s second light rail line was completed in 2001, and runs from downtown to the University of Utah at Daybreak Parkway. It is the Red Line, or the UTA Route 703. This line was also extended in 2003, and in 2008 it was extended to include the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub. The third line of the city’s light rail system is the Green Line, or the UTA Route 704, with fifteen stations. It runs from downtown to West Valley City (West Valley Central).
Currently there are 42 light rail stations open and in use, and another nine are under construction. By 2013, it is hoped that the extension line to the Salt Lake International Airport will be completed. However, if not complete in 2013, the project should be operational sometime in 2014. It is referred to as the Airport TRAX Line, and will run from downtown Salt Lake City along North Temple and to the airport. The line will be approximately six miles long, and there will be six stations along the way. One will be at the airport, just east of Terminal 1. The others will be along North Temple and will include 500 West Station, 800 West Station, 1100 West, 1500 West Station and 1950 West Station. At the 500 West Station passengers will be able to transfer to FrontRunner, which is the commuter railway line of the city. The station at 1100 West is located nearby the Utah State Fairgrounds. The line will also provide access to the Jordan River Trail, many retail businesses, offices and to the neighbourhoods along North Temple.
The future journey to the airport by train will take just twenty minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, and the trains are planned to be available every fifteen minutes. The same frequency is used for current light rail trains in the city. By the year 2015 10,000 passengers per day are expected to use the new Airport TRAX Line, and by 2030, 14,000 passengers will be expected. The current TRAX lines in Salt Lake City are used by over 40,000 passengers per day, and it is the ninth busiest light rail system in the United States of America.
Whilst the Salt Lake City International Airport train station is being built, passengers can use the UTA public buses to travel into the city, or they could also take a taxi or hire a rented car from one of the airport’s car hire companies.