10-25-2013 08:43 PM

CDOT offers 3 routes for multibillion-dollar Front Range train

CDOT is looking at route options for a high-speed train running along the corridor shown in yellow on this map. The state also has been looking at rail options along the I-70 corridor, shown in brown.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is floating three proposed routes to carry passengers on a high-speed Front Range rail line from Fort Collins and Pueblo.
If money can be found to build it, the line could carry up to 13.8 million people a year by 2035.
The biggest differences between the three options — contained in CDOT’s “Interregional Connectivity Study,” available here — are how the proposed lines would maneuver around the metro Denver area. North and south of the city, the train would follow Interstate 25, according to the report.
The project calls for trains traveling at 150 mph. There would be only a handful of proposed stops along its route, including Fort Collins, the north and south side of Denver, Denver International Airport, Colorado Springs and Pueblo.CDOT's website dedicated to the project is here.
But funding the project remains a problem. Project costs for the three options run between $11.5 billion to more than $14 billion, according to the report.
The state doesn't have that kind of money, according to the report.
But David Krutsinger, CDOT's transit and rail program manager, said he thinks the project could get built — probably via a public-private partnership — if the federal government kicks in about 20 percent of the costs.
And Colorado needs this kind of a project if it wants to avoid big traffic nightmares on the Front Range in the future, he said.
"We know by 2040 we’ll have nearly 6 million people between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, up from 4 million today — a 50 percent increase," Krutsinger said.
"The average person says they don’t want [the Front Range] to be like California, but we could become like California, and in order to avoid seas of asphalt and concrete we have to start planning now," he said.

|View All
Cathy Proctor covers energy, the environment, transportation and construction for the Denver Business Journal and edits the weekly "Energy Inc." newsletter. Phone: 303-803-9233. Subscribe to the Energy Inc. newsletter

Continue Reading >>