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Boise Train Timeline



The Oregon Shortline Railroad constructed the first railroad through the Treasure Valley. It bypassed Boise and went through Nampa (then called "New Jerusalem").


The branch line from Nampa to Boise is completed, and Boise's first depot is constructed not far from the present building.


The Boise Chamber of Commerce and Oregon Short Line sign a contract to build a mainline railroad through Boise.


Work on the Spanish-style depot designed by New York-based Carrere, Hastings, Shreve and Lando is completed. Thousands of spectators turn out to see the first steam engine come into the depot, and to hear speeches by Idaho Governor Charles C. Moore and Union Pacific president Carl Gray.


Oregon Short Line was absorbed into the Union Pacific Railroad Company.


The United States Post Office removes mail freight from the Portland to Boise train, switching to airmail. Union Pacific seeks to discontinue passenger service, since the route is no longer profitable.


Union Pacific ceases passenger service to Southern Idaho.


Amtrak launches passenger service between Seattle and Salt Lake City, including a stop in Boise.


Morrison Knudsen purchases the Boise depot from Union Pacific, restoring it for a ribbon cutting ceremony in February 2003.


Boise City purchases the depot from Morrison Knudsen.


May: Amtrack ceases passenger service to Boise.

October: The City of Boise sponsors a 10-day demonstration of a RegioSprinter, a German-made commuter train. It runs from the Boise Depot and the Idaho Center in Nampa, attracting 18,000 riders.


Voters in Ada and Canyon County vote to create a regional transportation authority. The organization is initially named Valley InterArea Transportation, changes to ValleyRide in 2002 and Valley Regional Transit in 2004.


Union Pacific donates 14.5 miles of track, running southeast from Boise to the mainline at Orchard. UP had planned to abandon the track. The City of Boise buys another 3.5-mile stretch from UP for $2 million.


At the 69th annual United States Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting, conference president and Boise Mayor Brent Coles delivers a rail-focused keynote address, telling participants, "What we need in America is a National Rail Policy for the 21st Century."


ValleyRide completes a rail corridor evaluation study, estimating that the implementation of a five-stop commuter train system from Nampa to Boise would cost between $108 and $128 million to startup and between $4.8 and $5.1 million annually to maintain.