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Old Posted Apr 14, 2021, 8:54 PM
jhwk jhwk is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 62
Originally Posted by mr1138 View Post
I'm not entirely sure how these track constraints would affect Amtrak. I suppose technologically it would be possible to run a traditional Amtrak train (certainly nothing new like Acela) on this line with minimal modifications since Amtrak just runs on old-fashioned freight tracks almost everywhere it goes.
A significant amount of planning has already been done on the FRPR. Hopefully Amtrak will just fork over some cash for the state’s effort and we will run it, because the 35mph avg speed service they just tweeted about is the same 19th century thinking that has turned Amtrak into a money pit with no resulting useful service outside of the Northeast.

The alternatives analysis published in December envisions a dedicated double track line for the FRPR. They are currently using a federal grant to create a freight traffic model for the lines to determine if costs can be reduced by using the existing freight line. I think there are a lot of good options there - coal traffic is disappearing and BNSF will never get a better price.

If you look at Appendix H of the Alternatives analysis, HDR has recommended studying a US36 alignment instead of using the freight line. This would have the advantage of being much faster for FRPR. For RTD it would potentially allow re-using the park & ride infrastructure. The two problems are that it will require significant viaducts to cross US36 and to run on Foothills Parkway. It also has challenging grades near Marshall Rd.

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