Proposed rail line between Craig, western Utah wins Moffat County support | CraigDailyPress.com

Proposed rail line between Craig, western Utah wins Moffat County support

A train carrying coal from Colowyo Coal Company makes its way to Craig Station in 2015.

CRAIG — Last week, Moffat County pledged initial support for a proposed railway project that would connect Craig to Northeastern Utah.

Led by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition in Utah, the project requires a commitment of $25,000 in matching funds from the county, pending the award of federal grant money to conduct a feasibility study. The study is estimated to cost $1.1 million.

"We're going to try and participate with them and do the feasibility studies," said Moffat County Commissioner Don Cook, who added that Utah was "driving the ship. We just agreed to be a part of it."

Dubbed the Craig Rail Line, it would link Duchesne and Uinta counties in Northeastern Utah with the national railway network, which currently ends in Craig. The rail would provide freight transportation, largely for the export of crude oil and energy industry development in the region, according to the project's website.

Commissioners agreed the rail line could aid economic development and diversification efforts in the region. It would also reduce truck traffic on regional highway corridors.

Initial estimates peg the costs somewhere between $780 million and $1.4 billion, according to a presentation by the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition. The coalition hopes to complete a feasibility study by 2020 and reach a "go/no go" decision.

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Construction would begin in 2025, and the train would be operational in approximately 2030, according to the coalition's estimates.