Trains For America

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Rocky mountain states looking into rail connections

Planning is underway for a [potentially] high speed rail connection in the “tri-state” area of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The 1,100 mile route would run between Casper, WY and Belen, NM. It would probably link to New Mexico’s existing commuter-ish Rail Runner service centered in Albuqurque. Apparently planners are considering either making use of existing tracks or building potentially faster rails running parallel to these routes.

Naturally, however, there are obstacles. This part of the country is no NEC or California; most cities are less dense. Each state is also performing its own environmental impact statement, with varying timetables.

Money, operational rules and railroad accident liability are a few of the obstacles related to a tri-state partnership, Briggs said. And once Colorado’s study is complete, the state Legislature must create a Colorado Rail Authority to finance construction and operate the rail service. He said he estimates that the newly created authority would have to issue a revenue bond worth at least $11.4 billion.

However, this part of the country (like all the other parts, actually) could certainly benefit from better rail infrastructure. I personally hope they go with the high speed option simply because the vastness of the route could make traditional rail speeds unpalatable for the jet set crowd.

Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail, , , , , , ,

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