Utah, with a total area of some 84,899 sq. miles, is nearly 2x larger when compared to Ohio at 44,825 sq. mi.
Ohio has a population of about 11.6 million (7th nationally) to Utah's 3.1 million (13th nationally).
I'm not talking about the state, I am just talking about Salt Lake City.
I'm confused about why everyone is obsessed about daytime Ohio trains but no one cares that Salt Lake City is in the graveyard shift. If another Chicago-Denver train is established, it could overnight through the mountains and reach Salt Lake City during the day.
KmH's point was that the entire state of Utah has a quarter the population of Ohio. So it helps a hell of a lot more people to add a daytime Ohio train than to add a daytime SLC train.
Another thing to note is that Salt Lake City has a significantly smaller population than that of Toledo, Cleveland, or Cincinnati:
- SLC – 193,744
- Toledo – 278,508
- Cleveland – 385,809
- Cincinatti – 298,800
So if you compare the population of Utah to that of Ohio, Ohio wins. If you compare the population of SLC to that of the major Ohio cities, Ohio wins.
Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT Combined Statistical Area 2,423,912
Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH Combined Statistical Area 2,398,297
Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN Combined Statistical Area 2,208,450
Toledo-Port Clinton, OH Combined Statistical Area 648,610
Cleveland is bigger though.
It'd be a lot easier to establish a daytime Amtrak train to Salt Lake City, if say like the Desert Wind(this is the long distance train that served Las Vegas till the mid 90s) was ever brought back as a separate train from the California Zephyr. IIRC till about 1997(or whatever year it was eliminated for good, along with also the Pioneer which served Wyoming, Boise, ID, etc) the Desert Wind operated like how currently the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle are in San Antonio, where they are separated(going east) and combined there(going west) to run together between San Antonio and LA. Correct me other posters on this board, if my memory of the Desert Wind is wrong. My gut feeling is that it'd be a tough sell, for Union Pacific to agree to new passenger train service. Since as it is, I know whatever freight railroad that runs the tracks east of New Orleans continually blocks any efforts to restore long distance train service between NOLA to Jacksonville.
Not saying it's impossible though to ever see happen, since Metra(Chicago commuter rail agency) finally put enough pressure on CN where they relented, and allowed an extra afternoon outbound train run on the Heritage Corridor Metra commuter train line. But that was a battle that dragged on for years, as I remember.