DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation isn’t prepared to start shopping for passenger trains just yet, but it’s at least ready to look at brochures.
The state DOT on Friday issued a “request for information” for rolling stock for possible passenger service between Denver and Craig, Colo., and has asked manufacturers and vendors to respond within 45 days. The agency says the request is not a solicitation for bids and is not meant to result in an order, but is an effort to understand what equipment might be available for mountain rail service.
“This is an important first step to understanding what technology is on the market that could meet the needs of mountain conditions,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said in a press release. “We’re interested in factors like cost, safety technology, reliability and the use of energy-efficiency options and clean power.”
CDOT is seeing trains that can handle steep grades, high altitudes, and potential low temperatures, with a capacity of 200 and “comfortable and upscale furnishings, including tables at facing seats and not more than 2×2 seat configuration.” There should also be options for a lounge or café car and wi-fi service.
The state announced in October that it would fund a $5 million study of possible Denver-Steamboat Springs-Craig service, a route last served by the Denver & Rio Grande Western’s Yampa Valley in 1968 [see “Colorado to fund study …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 24, 2023].