Trains For America

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Wyoming, Colorado begin HSR feasibility studies

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Rail Authority announced yesterday that they were beginning the feasibility study for high-speed rail service along the state’s Interstate 24 and 70 corridors. The goal is to get the corridor accepted as one of the USDOT designated high-speed rail corridors. This would make the project eligable for future federal funding. What does that mean in terms of getting trains on the ground? Well, not a whole lot yet, but it’s a good start for a region far from America’s traditionally rail-heavy regions.

And as we wrote back in June, any such plan would probably be done in tandem with Wyoming and New Mexico, which are both studying similar proposals.

Image credit: Rocky Mountain Rail Authority

Filed under: United States High Speed Rail, , , , ,

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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August 2022