“No changes to announce by Amtrak,” was the response from Amtrak public relations officer Marc Magliari, when contacted for an update on the situation.
The route from Denver through Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction was temporarily shut down on Sept. 12, due to washouts of a section of track near Denver, with a tentative date of Oct. 1 for resumption of train travel over the mountains.
Train passengers with tickets or reservations for the trip through the mountains were given the option of postponing their travel plans or traveling by bus between Denver and the Western Slope.
According to information provided at the time, a section of track passing a spot known as Lost Bogie Canyon, which crosses a ridge of fill dirt between two short tunnels, was left hanging in mid-air when the dirt beneath the tracks was washed out by flooding waters coming down the canyon.
In the week since the floods, Union Pacific (UP), which owns the tracks and leases them to Amtrak, has been working feverishly to repair the damage, according to UP spokesman Mark Davis.
“As of Monday, Sept. 23, our engineering team was estimating another two weeks before the line is ready to reopen,” Davis wrote in an email to the Post Independent on Sept. 27. Two weeks from that date would put the resumption of train travel at Oct. 7 at the earliest.
“Though progress is being made,” Davis continued, “there is a very large hole that needs to be filled. Estimates for this one hole alone are 120,000 cubic yards of material to fill the hole.”
He said that translates to approximately 2,600 rail cars of material.
Dawn Robison, a ticket agent at the Amtrak station in Glenwood Springs, estimated that roughly 200 people get off either the east-bound or west-bound train here every day.