COLORADO – The prospect of passenger rail on the Front Range is another step closer to reality on Wednesday. The Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission hired project director Randy Grauberger to lead the group toward its goal of building a commuter train system along the I-25 corridor.
When state lawmakers reauthorized the commission tasked with overseeing the repair of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line through southeastern Colorado, they also budgeted $2.5 million to study passenger rail options. Colorado Springs City Council President Pro Tempore Jill Gaebler is the board chair. She believes Grauberger is the best person for the job.
“I’m really excited to have him on board and he is really hitting the ground quickly because he already knows all the people at CDOT and is ready to get going,” Gaebler said.
Grauberger was hired away from the engineering firm WSP where he served as a senior transportation planning manager. He also was employed at the Colorado Department of Transportation for more than 28 years, serving in a number of planning positions, including as a Branch Manager in the Division of Transportation Development.
Gaebler said the commission will soon be accepting bids for a consultant. Once a contract is in place, she expects there to be a series of public meetings later this year to discuss passenger rail in the communities that the train would serve. Those include Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Castle Rock, Colorado Spri, gs and Pueblo.
Construction of new rail lines will likely require several billions of dollars of funding from voter-approved tax increases.