by Rockingham Racer
The Joint Line and the UP are kinks alright, but I would venture to say that with the reduced coal traffic, the impact is lessened. Could they even welcome the income paid by Amtrak, given the reduced traffic? Nah.
Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman
Backshophoss wrote: ↑Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:02 pm This brings back the "Pueblo Detour" to the Chief ,or a regional Denver-Abq train running via Walsenburg to the Chief's route at Trinidad.It appears from looking at Google Earth, that both north and south access to Pueblo Union Station are gone. It can be accessed from a wye track on the north side, but that would be a complicated move. However, if there is a will there is a way and switches to both ends could easily be added(if any change on a RR is easy). The trick for the Chief is how to head south when westbound as there is no good connection west to south or north to east. Maybe that wye on the north end would be useful after all.
The "kink" is dealing with UP which shares the Joint Line with BNSF .
La Junta would require a runaround move to head north from there,also a lack of a south access track to Denver Union Station at present
If there were more backpackers willing to ride trains in Colorado, the Ski Train from Denver through the Moffitt Tunnel would run year round and not just during the ski season.Maybe so. Closer to the mark might be that in places where there are frequent trains to nearby backpacking country, relatively many backpackers will ride them, but backpackers aren't going to turn out in numbers to support frequent train service by themselves. The what-if question about hikers, backpackers, and general outdoorsiness isn't so much about the max once or twice a day ski train route, but about a hypothetical extension of the W-Line light rail a couple of miles northwest to some trailheads.
west point wrote: ↑Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:50 pm I have o idea of impediments but if front range service is successful then tunnel the direct route to be under Denver Union station. The Germans certainly are doing it for a lot of their stations.Cherry Creek is the big obstacle there. It isn’t impossible of course, and Denver does have interest in extending transit southward - maybe someday it’ll happen with both LRT and heavy rail bores under the creek and the stadium.
The commission working to establish passenger service along Colorado’s Front Range considered these three alternatives. (Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission)A portion of this article talks about bypassing Union Station, but a bypass certainly wouldn’t be very far out of the way. As it stands now, the Pikes Peak and Colorado Sprints subdivisions travel parallel to the light rail line that serves Denver Union Station, which is about two blocks away from the current terminal. That stretch is wide enough for four tracks, and that is separate from the light rail. Theoretically, if the southbound track was realigned so that it was on the western side of the ROW, the use of a center platform where the southbound track is now would leave enough space to keep both tracks as well as the current BNSF passing siding, with maybe even enough from for a dedicated freight bypass track. The Front Range Corridor could make that its stop instead of routing to the Union Station.
— Placing tracks in the middle of or adjacent to Interstate 25 the entire distance, with a branch to Denver International Airport, shown in purple on the adjacent map;
— Utilizing existing highway and RTD transit rights-of-way north of Denver and the BNSF-UP rail corridor to the south, shown in yellow;
— A BNSF route north of Denver and the BNSF-UP tracks to the south, shown in green. This is the only alternative directly serving the city of Boulder, which last saw passenger service in 1967.
After some debate, the members passed a resolution indicating preference for the third option.
Plans for a new train station next to the historic Union Depot in Pueblo are moving ahead. The project is aimed at two proposed services, Front Range Rail that would run from Fort Collins to Pueblo and an expansion of Amtrak’s long-distance Southwest Chief line that would possibly connect La Junta to Pueblo and Colorado Springs.
Front Range Passenger Rail: Bringing Frequent Passenger Rail Service to Colorado’s Front Range
March 28th, 2023 • Projects and Planning
Something new is afoot in Colorado’s Front Range. Though the cowboys, prospectors, and mountaineers that built the state have faded into history, another group of builders from Colorado’s rich past – railroaders – may soon be returning to open a new chapter in the history of the mountain west.
In recent decades, Colorado has seen significant population growth, primarily along the front range. As a result, existing transportation systems have become strained, and new mobility options are required to keep Colorado’s people and economy moving. While the Denver area has been meeting this challenge with the creation of RTD and major expansion of light rail and commuter rail service, it is becoming clear that intercity rail will also need to feature in Colorado’s future.
Fortunately, the state has taken strong steps to initiate a new passenger rail project. The state has examined where and how to build a route connecting the major front range population centers, in several recent studies. Most recently, the 2020 Front Range Passenger Rail Alternatives Analysis report reviewed many potential alignments and identified three strong options to be advanced to the environmental permitting and review stage. The study also analyzed the feasibility and projected costs and ridership of each alignment. All potential alignments generally follow the same north-south axis connecting Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins along existing transportation corridors. Future expansion could also include connections to Cheyenne, Wyoming, or New Mexico, as well as a link to the Amtrak Southwest Chief.
In 2021, the state created the Front Range Passenger Rail District for the purpose of planning, designing, developing, financing, constructing, operating, and maintaining a passenger rail system along the front range. The district covers the portion of the state that would be served by the new rail service; it has the authority to levy taxes with voter approval and to use eminent domain for land acquisition. In 2022, the District was awarded $9 million for planning work, and undertook operations and service planning studies to further advance the project.