Friday, September 19, 2008

New Round of R2C2 Open Houses

All the way back in May, the Colorado Department of Transportation (known locally here as CDOT) had a initial batch of open houses to present the idea of creating a new rail line between Las Animas (the largest town between Lamar and La Junta on US 50 in the south and either Wiggins or Brush on I-76 (US 6 & 34) in the north. Bofh of the proposed routes would cross through Limon on I-70.

The idea is to pass the through freight over this route from and to the UP and BNSF corridors and keep only local freight to the existing rails. This would create the capacity for commuter rail service along the Front Range as far as Cheyenne or Laramie, WY and Raton or Santa Fe, NM, where it would possibly meet the New Mexico Rail Runner (or whatever it is called at the time).

As with most government agencies, the progress is extremely slow. They are having a second round of community meetings next month, which is fully five months after the first round. Here are the dates and locations, as announced.

* - Date has been changed and updated

Opinion

It's difficult to imagine that commuter rail will ever become a reality at this rate. Public discussion and village politics are not the way to get things like this done. Rail is the most efficient means of transportation, yet in the days of $4 for a gallon of gas, commuter rail is only being taken half-seriously. It's past time to lay rail, and we're getting people only to think about what commuter service would mean to Colorado.

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