The Front Range Ranger Express

The Cherry Creek News – High Speed Commuter Rail Plan Unveiled

Imagine a high speed … commuter railroad whisking passengers from Cheyenne along Colorado’s Front Range to Albuquerque and from Denver to Vail. That’s the goal of “Ranger Express.”

Initially, high speed commuter rail service would run along the Front Range, from Fort Collins through Denver’s Union Station to Pueblo. High speed trains between Denver to Vail and connections to Cheyenne and Albuquerque would come later.

“Ranger Express could speed intercity and interstate travel, reduce highway traffic along I-25, I-70 and connecting roadways, and reduce the need to build new highways,” said Bob Briggs, head of the Front Range Commuter Rail, a nonprofit organization set up to get the project off the ground.

Briggs says the first hurdle is to get the federal government to designate the route as a high speed commuter rail corridor. Colorado Senator Ken Salazar is leading that effort.

“I believe we have the opportunity to create a high speed commuter rail system to link our major population centers and set the stage for the next century,” said Senator Salazar when he announced support for the plan.

“It is time to study this project’s feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and most importantly its impact on local communities. No matter the outcome of the study we need to find solutions now to our future transportation problems,” Salazar said. …

Briggs says the first service could begin as early as 2014.

This is a fantastic idea. Don’t let the inevitable hoots from the cheap bastards stop this. The initial funding is insignificant (too little, no doubt). It will be expensive to build, but we are only going up from $70/barrel for oil and $3/gallon for gas. Nuclear-powered cars are a few years off.

I’ve long thought one should be able to take a train from Las Cruces to Taos.

Every mile of highway should have a mile of rail right with it; we should have rail running right down the middle of I-25 and I-40 from border to border. Imagine sitting in traffic and watching the train speed by — that’ll get people out of their cars. mjh

New Mexico’s Rail Runner Commuter Rail

COLORAIL: A Voice For Colorado’s Rail Passengers

Bush to propose cutting Amtrak subsidies – U.S. Business –

The Bush administration will for the first time propose eliminating operating subsidies for passenger train operator Amtrak as part of a push to cut budget deficits, people close to the budget process said Tuesday. President Bush’s fiscal 2006 budget, which he will send to Congress Monday, will allocate no subsidy for Amtrak to run its trains. [mjh: note that is from February 2005 — I don’t know what happened since.]

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