The railway will boost the economy of the Uinta basin | Opinion


I am delighted to hear that the Surface Transportation Board has approved the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition’s application for the Uinta Basin Railway Project.

I grew up in Uintah County in the 1950s and 1960s and still have parents who live there. Over the years, I have witnessed the boom and bust of the economy in this region, with the oil industry being the main source of jobs. During the economic crisis, many have to leave cities, including young people, to find work. During one of those cycles, my brother-in-law had to move to Price, leaving his family in Vernal, to work two part-time jobs for a year so they didn’t lose their home.

The proposed railroad is not just used to transport oil from this region, although it will be a real boost for this industry. According to the Uinta Basin Railway website: “The rail will be a common carrier freight transport service, also open to all freight shippers of all goods and services, including oil and gas, mining and agriculture. It will also remove all those tanker trucks (which cause more pollution than a freight train) that go between oil fields and refineries on the sometimes congested highway between Salt Lake, Roosevelt, Vernal and Colorado.

The Uinta basin definitely needs a railroad. It will allow other industries to build in this region to provide permanent jobs in addition to the oil and gas industry. Having a form of transportation other than trucking will open up this area and people will be able to work and live in that part of the state that they love.

I am grateful to Governor Spencer Cox and others for supporting this endeavor.

Colleen Allred Haymond



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