High-speed rail report has several options for stations in GarCo | PostIndependent.com

High-speed rail report has several options for stations in GarCo

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A report released in February on a high-speed rail feasibility study has determined the route, technology and station locations to be considered in the study.

The Rocky Mountain Rail Authorities’ (RMRA) goal of the study is to determine if there is at least one technically, financially and economically feasible project that warrants further planning and engineering exploration.

The $1.5 million study began in August 2008 and is scheduled to be completed by July. The study will not make final alignment, station, or investment decisions.

The alternatives include high-speed rail options along Interstate 25, from Trinidad to Cheyenne, WY, and Interstate 70, from Denver International Airport to Grand Junction, that could use either existing rail routes, highway routes, or would require completely new routes.

The I-70 corridor study evaluates the feasibility of 12 high demand primary station options and 16 smaller secondary station options.

Potential location options along the I-70 route in Garfield County include Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Parachute, with a junction at Glenwood with a rail extending to stations in Basalt and Aspen. A junction station at Dotsero would send a rail north toward Steamboat Springs that would stretch over to Craig.

Potential stations are classified as either primary or secondary with primary stations estimated having the greatest ridership potential. They are located at major populations centers or in areas that generate significant visitor-traffic all year.

Secondary stations are anticipated to be lower-demand or lower ridership-generating stations.

According to the report, it is highly unlikely that all 40 stations would be feasible.

A statement on the authorities’ website, http://www.rockymountainrail.org, states, “If this service is found to be feasible and funding is obtained, not only would trips from Denver to the mountains and northern Colorado communities to Colorado Springs and Pueblo become a reality, but, so would trips from Grand Junction to Pueblo, and Fort Collins to Summit and Eagle Counties.”

The Authority is a governmental body made up of 45 counties, municipalities and other organizations along both the I-70 and I-25 corridors and was created to explore passenger rail as part of a viable transportation solution for Colorado.

According to Cody Wertz with RMRA, if a feasible option is determined, the next step would be for an Environmental Impact Study to be completed.

For more information on the study visit http://www.rockymountainrail.org.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114


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