NewsCovering Colorado


Poll suggests strong political support for Front Range rail

Posted at 6:52 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 21:50:33-04

PUEBLO, Colorado — For decades, the only trains traveling north and south through Colorado along the i-25 corridor have been freight trains. However, the latest poll suggests the idea of using trains to move people up and down the Front Range appeals to a majority of voters living here.

"Eighty-five percent of Front Range residents support the concept of Front Range Rail, and when we asked the specific question about taxing themselves for front range rail, 61 percent said that they support a taxation for front range rail," said Sal Pace, the Passenger Rail Advocate with the Front Range Passenger Rail Commission.

State lawmakers created the commission back in 2014 to study costs and options associated with establishing a passenger rail line as part of the legislation that passed to help repair the Amtrak Southwest Chief rail line through Southeastern Colorado.

Pace explained that the current idea is to form a special district among the 13 counties that would be served by the rail line.

"Eventually, this will be taken to the voters and asked for funding support to build this out," he said.

The estimated price tag presented by pollsters was $5 billion, but that number is a rough estimate.

Pace said the commissioner would love to go to voters as soon as the 2020 presidential election, but there are other some regulatory stops to make before it comes to that.

"We're trying to develop a governing structure, route alignment, technology and also a funding mechanism for bringing Front Range Passenger Rail to the citizens of Colorado," he said.

The poll was conducted between October 4 through October 8 by a sample of 600 likely voters living in the 13 counties that would make up the Front Range Rail Special District.