News & Reviews News Wire Cheyenne passenger commission holds first meeting

Cheyenne passenger commission holds first meeting

By Trains Staff | December 16, 2023

| Last updated on February 2, 2024

Group sets goal of creating service plan for extension of Front Range project

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Map of northern Colorado with proposed rail line
A detail from the Front Range Passenger Rail District map of its proposed route in Colorado shows the potential future extension to Wyoming. Front Range Passenger Rail District

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Cheyenne’s newly formed Passenger Rail Commission held its first meeting Friday, with Front Range Passenger Rail District General Manager Andy Karsian offering a presentation on the efforts to launch a new passenger route in Colorado that could eventually be extended into Wyoming.

Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins announced creation of the 10-member commission — comprised of city, county, and state officials, along with one citizen member — earlier this week [see “City of Cheyenne creates group …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 12, 2023]. It seeks to restore passenger service to a city last served by Amtrak in 1997.

The Wyoming Eagle Tribune reports Karsian outlined current work on the Front Range district’s Service Development Plan, the first step toward new service for those routes recently selected for the Federal Railroad Adminstration’s Corridor Identification and Development program [see “Full list of passenger routes …,” News Wire, Dec. 8, 2023] Since that plan will only cover service between Fort Collins and Pueblo, Colo., the Cheyenne commission left Friday’s meeting with the goal of creating its own Service Development plan to bridge the 45 miles between Fort Collins and Cheyenne. Wyoming and Cheyenne may end up with the financial responsibility for developing that portion of the route.

Karsian said the discussion was worthwhile because there are “serious federal dollars available” for rail projects, but also injected a note of caution: the future of the Front Range project likely hinges on a 2024 vote by Colorado residents on a tax increase to support the rail program.

“I’m not here to tell you that the future is all rosy,” Karsian said, according to the Eagle Tribune. “The future is gray at best.”

10 thoughts on “Cheyenne passenger commission holds first meeting

  1. Small town Cheyenne can’t fill a bus. But, as they point out, what matters is bringing in federal dollars, not right-sizing transportion.

  2. This is another CDOT, Democrat vision for the Front Range that will not work.
    RTD built the Downtown Denver to Denver International Airport at a cost of 1.6 Billion. The line has single track, accident problems with autos in NE Denver, infrequent trains . The cost one way from the airport to downtown $13.50. Chicago has the blue line O’Hare to downtown, cost $4.oo.
    Before the line was built RTD had promises of inexpensive, fast, reliable transportation, no one would use I170/Pena Blvd. It never worked, traffic on I70 is terrible and getting worse.
    Stay away Wyoming, don’t get involved in some multi-billion dollar pipe dream.

    1. RTD A-Line runs at least every half hour to DEN Denver International Airport. The fare is substantial, but here’s the deal: from DEN, where being picked up is impossible, take the A-Line one stop to 61st and Pena (or is it 63rd and Pena, doesn’t matter). At that station, traffic is nonexistent, pick-up is a breeze, and street parking for the person waiting for you is free. It’s well worth the $10.50 fare, compared to being picked up at the airport. Or someone paying to park at the airport and meeting you at baggage claim.

  3. The line will need massive upgrades. Sidings, CTC, PTC, trackwork, etc. It currently is TWC and has three daytime locals between Longmont and Cheyenne, plus UP and Omnitrax at Ft. Collins. These things have to be considered. The drive into Denver on the front range is only getting worse by the day so that is a consideration.

  4. Here’s an even better idea: wake up to the simple fact that one train route by its nature cannot cover the transportation needs of the people who live there.

    Denver, MSP and Atlanta are all one-train cities …. whose airports can get you in any direction multiple times daily. Including, in Denver’s case, north and south to cities whose Amtrak routes (trains 1/2, 3/4 and 7/8) only go east to west.

    1. Absolutely right Charles, we need as many routes as possible emanating from these former “Union Stations”.

  5. Here’s a better idea for Cheyenne rail passenger service. Denver, Cheyenne, Rawlins, Green River and Ogden like the good old days.
    Why stop there. Establish a train to run east of Cheyenne to Sidney, North Platte, Kearney, Grand Island, Columbus and Omaha.

    1. Why not do all of this, AND extend this potential line north? Better use of taxes than nearly any other expense.

    2. That’s a wonderful idea. Let’s spend billions to run empty trains to backwater towns that can’t fill a bus. #sarcasm

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