A long-standing wish among transit fans in Colorado to see the construction of a high speed passenger rail system in the sprawling Front Range could come with a $2.8 billion price tag.
That’s the conclusion of a study that has just been presented to the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission.
That commission is tasked with rail construction projects, and works with local governments to that end.
As discussed, the line would follow the same route of the north to south Interstate 25, with stops in Fort Collins, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs.
The line would initially run anywhere from two to six round trips daily.
A more limited system would connect only Boulder and Denver, with the possibility of expanding the line later on.
The system has sparked increasing interest in recent years as the population of Colorado has grown from 4.3 million two decades ago, to just under 5.8 million today, resulting in a subsequent increase in highway and road traffic.
Transit supporters point out that at least half of that number, at 2.9 million, is comprised of residents living in the metro Denver area.
Construction of the system has won the support of a wide array of Colorado public officials, including Governor Jared Polis, who has indicated that he regards its development as one of his top legislative priorities for next year.
The Colorado State Legislature is scheduled to begin its winter 2021 session on January 13.
Earlier this fall, the Colorado Department of Transportation received $2.5 million from the federal Department of Transportation for rail infrastructure work, with $548,000 available to study the Front Range rail proposal.
By Garry Boulard
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