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Cheyenne included in federal passenger rail study’s new potential routes

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Federal Railroad Administration has identified three new conceptual long-distance passenger rail routes that would include Cheyenne as part of an ongoing planning study.

The study, which the FRA is required to perform as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is an early step in the planning process for the return or expansion of long-distance train service. The FRA is examining previous Amtrak routes discontinued in 1997 and evaluating new routes in underserved areas of the country.

Of the 15 corridors across the U.S. identified in the study, three would restore service to Cheyenne:

  • A Los Angeles-to-Denver route via Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Rock Springs and Cheyenne
  • A Minneapolis-to-Denver route via Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Cheyenne
  • An El Paso-to-Billings route following much of the Interstate 25 corridor, including Cheyenne

“I was pleasantly surprised to see not one, but three routes potentially stopping in Cheyenne,” said Cheyenne MPO Director Jeff Noffsinger, who attended an FRA regional stakeholder meeting in Seattle earlier this month. “This study further shows that Cheyenne is an important part of the future of passenger rail in the U.S.”

The potential routes and FRA presentation can be found online here under the “Meeting Materials” tab.

The FRA is collecting feedback on the routes and is expected to produce a final report that will be delivered to Congress, said Dan Bilka, executive director of All Aboard Northwest. From there, the routes would go through service development planning prior to implementation.

The FRA long-distance study is separate from, but ties into, ongoing planning for regional Front Range Passenger Rail.

In the meantime, the Cheyenne MPO plans to begin a site selection study this year for a passenger rail station in Cheyenne that would serve long-distance routes and Front Range Passenger Rail.

The Cheyenne Passenger Rail Commission will discuss the FRA routes at an upcoming meeting.

To learn more about the Cheyenne Passenger Rail Commission and planning efforts for rail service in Cheyenne, visit here

To learn more about the Cheyenne MPO, click here.


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