Friday, December 18, 2009

McFadyen Suggests Tennessee Pass Be Re-opened

It's hard for anyone to take a name like Buffie McFadyen seriously, but since she's a State Representative, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter had to take her seriously when she asked him to pressure Union Pacific to reopen the Tennessee Pass line.
According to the Pueblo Chieftain, she argued that it would allow the railroad to ship more freight from Southern Colorado to the north.

"That could bring new economic development to this area of the state," she said.

Gov. Ritter agreed to talk to railroad officials about it.

While I'm sure that McFadyen really meant to the west, the logic behind such a move would be to restore a second axis to the town's railroad connection. Opening the Rio Grande's Tennessee Pass line would make the rail connections to the east look more probable. The only problem? The line has been closed for 12 years and rehabilitating it during a depression is more in the "If we build it, they will come," school of thought than the practical, pragmatic approach.

It would make much more sense for McFadyen and Ritter to come to UP with a guarantee from the steel mill in Pueblo that they would reopen and expand their output if an east-west connection were restored by the UP. Unfortunately, McFadyen didn't put together such a deal, just a suggestion. Without any serious deal brokering, that's all McFadyen will be making for her district: suggestions.


  1. Coal from Utah and western Colorado and headed for Texas and the south being able to bypass Moffat?

  2. Coal from Utah and western Colorado would be able to use a rehabilitated Tennessee Pass line from Dotsero to Pueblo. Obviously, coal from the Craig branch would use the Moffat because it is the Moffat route, but it could be routed at Bond via the Dotsero cutoff. Sound about right?


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