Interesting that the new proposal for Amtrak bypasses southern Idaho, specifically Boise. The Boise area is one of the fastest growing areas of the country, and you've got several towns in between SLC and BOI that probably don't have decent air service: Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls. A friend of mine who lives in Pocatello says he often drives 300 miles to BOI to get a one hour flight to Seattle.
Maybe Uncle Pete has already quietly passed the word, "pay up or don't bother." And although the line from Orchard through Boise to Nampa is owned by the City of Boise, it would require major work to bring it up to passenger train standards.
Link to the local reporting here: [www.ktvb.com