From Marriott Downtown at City Creek Salt Lake City--
Within the past half hour, I have returned from making a round trip 'joyride' SLC - Provo on the Frontrunner South.
Just as I was with my Frontrunner North made during April 2010, am I ever impressed, and, I'm sorry, but Frontrunner makes any other rail transit system with which I've had experience 'look like out of the Dark Ages'.
The equipment simply looks immaculate in its R W & B livery; so far, although I must wonder for how long, the trains have escaped the fate of UTA busses and TRAX light rail of having shrink wrap advertising around the vehicles.
The dedicated UTA track is just that; nowhere is UP/D&RGW track used; in fact the Train Host (Conductor) said she was not UP Rules Qualified. However, on Sundays, like much of this region regarding anything, there is no service, and UP will make use of UTA tracks - up Train & Engine must be 'RQ' on the UTA property.
I was riding in the Lower Level of the Bombardier bi-level; the ride was exceptionally smooth and it appears max speed is 79 (I really did not wish to bother the Conductrix with a bunch of railfan chatter). At Provo, MP S-44.3 (miles are S or N of SLC). I never alighted the train at Provo. Just think, at Provo they swept out the train and touched up the interior windows after its 80 mile journey from Ogden.
All told, on my Senior one day pass, I could have ridden the entire UTA system - mode notwithstanding, but I just wanted to retreat here to the hotel, have a Chardonnay at the bar (sure couldn't do THAT 'back in my 68-69 day' around these parts). I still am backlogged with newspapers to read. Tonight is the Utah Symphony (this hotel is catty corner to the Orchestra's venue).
I'll be starting home (auto) after the Mormon Tabernacle broadcast tomorrow.
A final thought, like a lot of other regions, Denver still 'talks the talk' with (real) rail transit, but SLC has 'walked the walk'.