Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

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, , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Brett says:

    I live in this region, and I hope that we’ll see this someday. A couple of background items. This would run on the I-25 corridor, which has very busy freight tracks right now, so they would have to spend a bunch of money building a freight bypass (a big chunk of the $11 billion that you quote). Also, many people drive to Denver in sometimes treacherous conditions, but the trains run fine. This would also help with air traffic as Denver is the only major airport for the region, right now there are tons of regional flights in and out everyday.

  2. says:

    We desparately need this. I live in Denver and my folks live near Ft. Collins. So I frequently drive this road or take the backroads when I get frustrated. That part of of I-25 is bumper-to bumper about 20 hours a day and unsafe even in good weather conditions. Colorado drivers are also exeptionally bad anyway. I would definately ride the train if I had the option. South of Denver is bad too because there aren’t any alternate routes.

  3. […] as we wrote back in June, any such plan would probably be done in tandem with Wyoming and New Mexico, which are both […]

  4. shawn Kearney says:

    for those of us who aren’t wealthy congressmen, I hope that some form of rail service makes it’s way back to Wyoming. Traveling in this state is extremely, extremely expensive and/or inconvenient – even out of Casper.

    I am getting very moneybags Barrasso and Enzi, and anyone else who can afford $500 airfares opposing rail service.

  5. Ron says:

    great idea! You should use jettrain equipment. can be used on conventional rail and have a maximum speed of 150 miles per hour. these trains were developed by the Bombardier and the U.S. Government .

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June 2008


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