ConsumerMoneyScience and Tech


No Hyperloop? No problem: North to south Colorado passenger train being looked at:

Posted at 9:51 PM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-02 01:23:58-05

DENVER -- While talk of 600 mph trains in tubes is exciting to have, the most feasible option just may be an old fashioned passenger railroad that's now being looked at to connect Fort Collins and Trinidad. 

"Rail is a tested and true technology. It has stood the test of time," Jacob Riger of the Passenger Rail Commission told Denver7. 

The state legislature asked his group to look into the very early steps of a "Front Range passenger rail" that would connect Colorado from north to south. 

"Today you could not travel by rail across the entire Front Range," he said.

Amtrak does have a passenger rail line that runs east and west across Colorado. RTD has rails in and around the Denver metro. This early idea would provide a different route. And the early reviews were mainly positive. 

"It's convenience, it's access and I think the more we can have the better," one RTD rider told Denver7. 

"I don't want to take a bus with multiple connections so if there was a train it would definitely be easier," another added.

But since this is in the "baby steps" of early research, the Commission said they still don't know a lot of details about what the train would actually be.

"Where it will go, how much it will cost, how it will operate, and how long it will take to build that project" are the unknowns, according to Riger.

That's why the commission is asking for $8.7 million from the legislature to start figuring that out.

Options for ownership and operation could include Amtrak, the state, or a partnership. The actual train could be similar to an Amtrak passenger train, a commuter rail line like the A line, or even a high-speed rail.

While he wouldn't specifically say an Amtrak-type passenger rail was more likely to happen than Hyperloop One, rail riders knew which was more feasible. 

"Amtrak of course. We haven't seen what Hyperloop can do yet."

"I would say Amtrak. Because Hyperloop hasn't been done before."

The commission tells Denver7 the timetable for construction and completion could be 15 years.