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Biden infrastructure plan offers promising sign for Front Range passenger rail system

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado's vision for a Front Range passenger rail system is one step closer to reality.

The Biden Administration announced a $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan for the nation on Wednesday, called the 'American Jobs Plan,' which designates $80 billion to Amtrak rail repairs, improvements and route expansions.

Following the announcement, Amtrak released its own plans to add more than 30 new routes within 15 years, in addition to repairs and much needed improvements. One proposed route from Pueblo to Cheyenne, Wyoming would create a corridor along the Front Range, with stops in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins.

"We want to be a part of solving some of these problems and better connect these communities to the rest of the network and the rest of the country," Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari said.

It's a plan the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission has been working on since its inception in 2017.

"We've been working closely with Amtrak and with the Governor's office, but this is confirmation of Amtrak's commitment to the Front Range passenger rail corridor," Sal Pace said, Vice Chair of the Passenger Rail Commission.

If passed, the President's federal legislation could give Amtrak and the commission much-needed resources, but it's not the only funding source they'll require.

"Ultimately we will need to create some sort of rail district and the legislature is looking at that right now," Jill Gaebler said, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and Passenger Rail Commission board member.

With 85% of the state's population growth happening along the Front Range, the proposed rail system has long been viewed as an alternative to alleviate congestion, especially along the I-25 corridor.

"And we don't have more space to add more lanes along I-25. So, it's not a sustainable transportation route for the state of Colorado," Gaebler said.

Proponents also anticipate the rail could generate an economic boost for the cities along its route.


"Front Range passenger rail would allow the economic growth in Colorado and especially in communities like Colorado Springs and Pueblo," Pace said.

Before any funding can be distributed, the legislation must be approved by the U.S. Congress.

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Jen Moynihan

Jen Moynihan is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Jen here.

Comments

12 Comments

  1. It would be nice to have light rail from pueblo to Cheyenne. Unfortunately, most of the promised money will get spent in the Denver metro area and then running a rail to favored ski towns. The rest will be waisted by inept government fools that don’t know what they’re doing.

    1. A means a transportation with the potential to dramatically reduce carbon-based emissions, and save both lives and wasted (wo)man-hours by reducing commuter traffic on I-25. Sounds like a good deal to me.
      .
      Then again, we’ve been saying that ever since moving here 34 years ago . . . 🙄

  2. We’ll spend billions on choo choo trains, what great technology. Typical Democrat’s ideology, if it doesn’t work…throw more money at it.

  3. By the time the demented fraud Biden and the rest of the criminal radical marxist democrats are finished with America we will be lucky to still have functional sovereign country. America’s government is occupied by radical marxist democrats who are on a mission to destroy America.

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