Article in freenewmexican.com
Sounds good to me - at least to do the study:
Groups push for passenger rail from Casper to Albuquerque
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 30, 2006
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Economic development groups say Wyoming should participate in a study of the feasibility of running high-speed passenger trains between Casper and Albuquerque, N.M.
Front Range Commuter Rail wants to study the possibility of creating high-speed rail lines on existing railroad right of way.
The study, which the group says will cost about $4.4 million, will examine existing rail lines and the cost of improvements and relocating existing coal and freight train traffic.
Front Range Commuter Rail wants Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico to pay for about half the cost of the study, which then would be eligible for federal matching money. Wyoming's portion would be about $400,000.
Randy Bruns, chief executive officer of Cheyenne LEADS, said Wyoming would be crazy not to participate in the study.
"This is not pie in the sky," Bruns said. "Somebody could be physically running passenger service to Denver tomorrow."
Completion of the high-speed rail project is set for the year 2016. It's intended to meet the transportation needs of the rapidly growing Rocky Mountain region.
Bob Jensen, chief operating officer for the Wyoming Business Council, said Wyoming's ability to be an economic force will depend on how well it can work with other states along the Front Range.
"You just can't build lanes of highway fast enough to alleviate congestion," Jensen said.
Bruns said the study must be completed before Congress could designate the Casper to Albuquerque line as a high-speed corridor. There are 10 such designated corridors in the country.
If Congress approves a high-speed corridor designation, the next step would be to establish an authority to oversee design and construction of the rail line. The formal designation would allow the rail project to seek federal money.