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Report offers plans for Colorado Front Range passenger rail

December 7, 2020 GMT

DENVER (AP) — The first incarnation of a passenger rail service along Colorado’s Front Range could involve two to six daily round trips between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, a new report said.

The draft report presented to the Front Range Passenger Rail Commission Friday said the service’s initial phase could cost $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Trains would travel an average of 45 mph (72 kph), mostly on existing freight rail tracks.

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A second phase would add service between Colorado Springs and Pueblo and cost $200 million to $300 million, the report said.

An adjustment of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief under discussion to add service to Pueblo could connect some Eastern Plains communities and Trinidad to the Front Range line.

The commission hopes to build a faster, more frequent and costlier line between Trinidad and Cheyenne, Wyoming, and perhaps points south. Speeds would reach 90 to 110 mph (145 to 177 kph) on new track with trains running every 30 minutes at peak times.

The cost could reach between $7.8 billion and $14.2 billion.

Amtrak has expressed interest in recent months in investing billions of dollars. Another prospective funding option is a new tax district, which would require legislative action and a district vote.