That Idea For A Front Range Train Remains A Popular One

Courtesy of Steve Wilson
CDOT is proposing a new passenger rail service along the Front Range that could connect to other systems, like Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, seen here near Trinidad.

Right now, the best way to get from Pueblo to Fort Collins (or Denver) is to hop on I-25 and drive.

But the Colorado Department of Transportation is toying with an alternative: a passenger train that would run the length of the Front Range.

That idea is popular with Front Range residents, according to a survey released Friday. The poll found 85 percent of people supported the use of passenger rail on the Front Range, with 88 percent of northern Front Range respondents supporting the idea. Ten percent of respondents opposed the idea.

Of those surveyed, 70 percent do not use transit right now.

The project would cost an estimated $5 billion, and the survey found most respondents, 61 percent, backed raising the sales tax to fund the project.

The survey was conducted by Magellan Strategies and RBI Strategies and Research.

Some members of the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission would like to see it put on the ballot next year, an accelerated timeline for the plan. CDOT just hired a contractor to look into key questions about the project's feasibility, including which preexisting rail lines the train would use and who would oversee it.