While the California High Speed Rail Project is struggling to leave the station, Colorado is looking into its own high speed rail line. As it turns out though, the price tag is just as steep as the Golden State’s fumble.
The state of Colorado has conducted two studies to figure the costs of building a high speed rail line that would take people from Pueblo in the south to Fort Collins in the north, and connecting Denver International Airport to the Eagle County Airport further west. Eventually this system could connect Colorado with neighboring states in a vision of a highly-connected America. The Colorado Department of Transportation spent $5 million on the studies and found that the cost of constructing the desirable high speed rail line would be around $30.1 billion. .
Colorado doesn’t have that kind of cash lying (despite the millions of dollars in taxes generated by legal pot revenue) to even begin to break ground on the project. Since then, the Colorado Department of Transportation is catching flack for even spending $5 million on the studies.
The two studies started in 2012 and envisioned 340 miles of high-speed line total between the four areas, with estimated travel speeds 90 to 180 mph. The studies concluded that a high speed rail system linking DIA to Eagle County would cost $16.5 billion while the Pueblo-Fort Collins route would cost $13.6 billion. Even though the system isn’t nearly as large of California’s proposed high-speed rail line, the number of mountains standing in the way drive up costs exponentially.
The final nail in coffin for this idea, the studies found that a maximum of $1 billion to $3 billion could be obtained through private financing, leaving either the state of the Feds on the hook for the remainder. It seems the Rocky Mountain State needs to consider alternatives to high-speed trains.
Taking the “glass half full approach”, the Colorado Department of Transportation viewed the multi million dollar studies as laying the group work for the future of Colorado.
Source: Denver Post
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.