Front Range Passenger Rail Bill Introduced at Statehouse

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Among balancing the budget and finding money for transportation projects, lawmakers will decide if creating a passenger rail line along Colorado's Front Range—from southern Colorado to Fort Collins—is worth a look.   

Supporters of Senate Bill 153 say it would help ease congestion and connect rural and urban areas.

It would expand a commission that was originally designed to preserve the existing Amtrak Southwest Chief rail line in southern Colorado.

State Senator Larry Crowder [R-Alamosa] is one of the bill's sponsors. Crowder says now that the Southwest Chief is stable, it makes sense to expand the mandate.

"This is the next step," says Crowder. "You’re looking at the transportation issues on I-25. And if you're looking at doubling the population, how many more lanes are you going to add?"

He says Front Range rail would especially benefit the elderly and veterans. If the proposal passes, a group will study whether the idea is feasible.