Feb 6, 2014 7:41 PM

Expert says bringing Amtrak to Pueblo will have positive economic impact

Colorado State University-Pueblo Professor of Economics Kevin Duncan unveiled a cost-benefit analysis in regards to bringing Amtrak to Pueblo.

During a meeting with community leaders, Duncan said extending the Southwest Chief Rail Service to Pueblo would have a positive impact on the economy.

The Southwest Chief has about 13,000 passengers in Colorado per year. More than half come from out-of-state.

The service needs about $200 million dollars in repairs to maintain operations throughout western Kansas, southeastern Colorado and northern New Mexico. That is why Amtrak is considering eliminating the service.

Colorado would be responsible for paying 4 million dollars a year in repair costs.

Duncan says even though it would cost 40 million dollars for repairs over a decade, the return in revenue would be greater.

He estimates, if the service is extended to Pueblo, the economic impact would be about $67 million over ten years.

Commissioner Sal Pace says it's still undecided on who will pay for the repair costs. He says it will not come from the city of county's general fund.



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