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Gov. Cox supports more passenger rails ahead of potential 2034 Olympics in Utah

Rio Grande icon.
The Rio Grand Plan
Rio Grande icon.

If Salt Lake City is chosen to host the 2034 Winter Olympic Games, Utah could get more passenger trains.

The International Olympic Committee has named Salt Lake City as the preferred host for the 2034 Winter Olympics. Infrastructure upgrades are sure to follow if Utah is awarded the Games in July. One possible upgrade would include passenger rails to connect the state.

Gov. Spencer Cox said he’s a fan of passenger rail during a town hall Tuesday. He also said he spoke with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about how to get more passenger rail in Salt Lake.

“I would love to get passenger rail to Park City," Cox said. "Not sure that's in the cards over the next 10 years. But the Rio Grande plan is something that we will certainly look at.”

The Rio Grande plan would restore rail service at the historic Rio Grande Depot in downtown Salt Lake City, improving the connection between the east and west sides of town. The plan would relocate all north-south train tracks between 900 South and 100 South to a below-grade train box. The Salt Lake Tribune reports city leaders are considering the plan.

Cox said he will meet with Salt Lake and state leaders to discuss long-term plans after he’s finished signing legislation from the 2024 session.

“We really want to dream big and envision how we can make some of these generational investments so that our kids and grandkids have the high quality of life that we enjoy here,” Cox said.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to announce the hosts of the 2030 and 2034 Olympic Games on Pioneer Day, July 24.