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Could rail to Boulder finally be built? Colorado has a plan.

The Fastracks project to Boulder and Longmont has been long delayed and under-funded
Posted at 11:25 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 12:03:56-05

The long-delayed train linking Denver to Boulder and Longmont might have a path forward under a plan floated Tuesday that would try to get federal funds for the project by tying it to a train system to Fort Collins.

Voters OK’d the Fastracks project linking Denver and Boulder County in 2004 as part of a larger package of new rail lines but the Boulder portion was under-funded and never fully built, frustrating residents who have been paying taxes for a service they never received.

Under the concept released Tuesday, the Regional Transportation District, the state Department of Transportation and Front Range Passenger Rail would work together to leverage federal funds for creating a passenger trains system connecting Denver, Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins.

Trains could roll on existing track between Denver’s Union Station to Boulder and Longmont but would be part of an effort defined as “intercity” instead of “commuter” trains, according to the proposal. The distinction opens up access to $102 billion in federal funding for freight and intercity rail projects not available for commuter trains.

The proposal is cast as a practical first step toward establishing a broader, 160-mile Front Range Passenger Rail System spanning 13 counties along the Interstate 25 corridor. It also would link Denver to Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. Gov. Jared Polis has backed that effort, urging swift action to compete for federal funds. “Front Range Passenger Rail will modernize our transit system, save people money, and support jobs and housing across our state,” he declared in December as the state received an initial $500,000 for identification of routes.

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.

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