Newsletter 4/19/24: Colorado Front Range

Bringing Regional Rail to Colorado’s Front Range

Plans are well underway for a new regional rail route connecting communities in Colorado’s Front Range, one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.

The Front Range runs nearly 200 miles along the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains—south to north from Pueblo (CO) to Cheyenne (WY). It includes Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and other communities that are vital to Colorado’s booming tourist industry and overall economy.

About 85 percent of the state’s population clusters in the Front Range. Denver, located in the heart of the corridor, is one of the fastest growing cites in the US, both economically and population-wise. By 2050, the metro area is expected to grow to 4.4 million people (from 3.4 million in 2020).

Amtrak’s California Zephyr and Southwest Chief routes provide Colorado’s only year-round passenger-rail service. The state legislature created the Front Range Passenger Rail District in 2021 as a special taxing entity and gave it the authority to ask residents, via a ballot measure, to approve a new tax to finance the construction and operation of passenger-train service in the Front Range. 

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Level boarding on a Metra Electric platform

Luncheon with Metra CEO Jim Derwinski

When: 4/26 at 12pm CT (Doors open at 11:30am)
 
This year’s event will feature Jim Derwinski, the CEO/Executive Director of Chicago’s Metra rail system, as keynote speaker. Mr. Derwinski also serves as chairperson of the Illinois High-Speed Railway Commission.
 
Tickets are $65
The platform at Seoul central station is busy with people getting off the train.

South Korean High-Speed Rail: Thoughts Challenges and Successes

When: Friday May 3, 2024

Speaker: John Rinard, Transportation Program Director for AECOM’s U.S. Western region

John will share lessons learned from his time working on the Korean High-Speed Rail Construction Project, and insights from 40 years of delivering major rail projects on five continents, with a value in excess of $220 billion.

‘Now’s the Time’: Amtrak Leader Urges Momentum On Dallas-to-Houston High-Speed Rail (Dallas Morning News)

Texas is a prime candidate for passenger rail development, Amtrak’s Andy Byford told attendees of a rail industry conference.

Can Hydrogen Trains Revolutionize American Travel?

America’s railroads all too often lack passing tracks, grade-separated road crossings, and modern signaling systems. The main impediment to faster, more frequent passenger service “is not the train technology…it’s everything else.”

Morocco-Spain, High-Speed Rail Route to Connect Madrid to Casablanca

Recent studies by Secegsa have affirmed the project’s feasibility and projected a timeline of five years.

Designer of France’s High-Speed TGV Train Dies

Jacques Cooper, the designer of France’s first ultra-fast TGV train that shattered world speed records when it came into service in 1981, has died aged 93.

Florida’s Brightline Kicks Off $1.2 Billion Junk-Debt Sale

Florida’s high-speed rail system, Brightline, is tapping the US high-yield market with a $1.25 billion offering on Monday.

Amtrak Taking Lead On Dallas-Houston High-Speed Rail Project

Bullet trains could be running by the 2030s, said Amtrak’s head of high-speed rail development programs, but the company is still conducting due diligence.

Gateway Development Commission Submits Final Documents to FTA for Hudson Tunnel Project FFGA

The $6.88 billion in funds for the Capital Investment Grants Program represents the largest commitment to a transit project in modern history.

Amtrak Seeks Information On Zero-Emissions Replacements for Diesel Fleet

Amtrak announced it has released a Request for Information seeking information on zero-emission technologies for the company’s rail fleet as a step toward eliminating its current diesel locomotive fleet. 

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