UTAH TRANSIT Authority is to celebrate the opening of its 24 km TRAX light rail line between Salt Lake City and suburban Sandy on December 4; revenue service will start two days later. The board of directors voted on August 25 to open the line four months early.

The $312m line is largely complete, although one substation and an access road to one station may not be ready in time. UTA is still awaiting a safety certificate from the state of Utah and an FRA waiver for the operation of freight trains on the line at night.

Faced with funding problems for the proposed $448m east-west line, UTA has decided to split the project into two phases. First would be the segment from the north-south line at Main Street & 400 South to the University of Utah campus, costed at $105m. Extending this to the University Health Sciences Center would add about $55m. The western line to the airport would be built later.

  • On September 8 Florida’s Orange County Commission voted to scrap the planned $600m Orlando light rail project, which it had approved in July. Planning for the 26·9 km line has been under way for several years, and a local funding package had been put together which would have allowed work to begin next year for completion in 2003.