Projects

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is CDOT developing the State Freight and Passenger Rail Plan?

What will the Plan address?

How is the Study being funded?

What is the role of CDOT’s new Division of Transit and Rail?

Who is on the Steering Committee for the development of the Plan?

Are there opportunities to provide input during the development of the Plan?

What role do the railroads play in the development of the Plan?

Will the Plan address future passenger rail service in Colorado in addition to the existing Amtrak trains?

When will the Plan be completed?

 

Why is CDOT developing the State Freight and Passenger Rail Plan?

The State Freight and Passenger Rail Plan (SFPRP) will provide the state with a plan for all proposed rail infrastructure and rail services projects.  The Plan is also required in order for the state to be eligible for future federal funding for such rail projects.  It will provide future direction for improving/expanding freight and passenger rail services in Colorado and will identify existing and potential funding sources for such projects.  Lastly, it will serve as an educational tool for rail transportation in Colorado.

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What will the Plan address?

The plan will address both freight and passenger rail issues for the state of Colorado.  It will also look at those freight and passenger rail movements that provide critical connections to neighboring states.

There are 12 tasks identified in the Scope of Work for the SFPRP:

  1. Identify and Review Best State Rail Planning Practices
  2. Summarize CDOT’s and Other Rail Planning Activities
  3. Describe the State Rail Network and Inventory
  4. Prepare Internal and External Stakeholder Outreach Plan
  5. Conduct Stakeholder Outreach
  6. Assess and Evaluate Rail’s Impacts on the Economy, Environment and Safety
  7. Assess and Evaluate Rail Transportation Related Needs
  8. Create a Vision for Rail in Colorado
  9. Identify Potential Rail Investment Opportunities
  10. Develop Long Range Service and Investment Program
  11. Integrate State Rail Plan into Long Range Transportation Plan
  12. Prepare Final State Rail Plan

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How is the Study being funded?

The Plan is being funded with a federal planning grant from the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) and is matched on a 50/50 basis with CDOT state funds.

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What is the role of CDOT’s new Division of Transit and Rail?

The Division of Transit and Rail is responsible for the management of the SFPRP and also additional rail related studies that will be completed by CDOT over the next few years.

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Who is on the Steering Committee for the development of the Plan?

There are 16 members of the Steering Committee that is guiding the development of the SFPRP.  There are representative of the following groups:  Major railroads, short line railroads, Amtrak, Colorado Counties, Inc., Colorado Municipal League, State Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC), Progressive 15 (for Club 20 and Action 22), Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA), Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Regional Transportation District (RTD), and CDOT.   The actual list of members can be found on the CDOT State Rail Plan website at http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/PassengerFreightRailPlan/steering-committee.html

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Are there opportunities to provide input during the development of the Plan?

A Stakeholder Group has been identified for the purposes of providing interested parties with information related to the SFPRP throughout the course of the 12-month project.  The Group currently has approximately 100 members and continues to grow.  There will be three meetings of this group (May, August and November 2011) during the project and there will also be four Working Group sessions at locations around the state in August to obtain input related to the Plan.  Input can also be provided to CDOT by using its SFPRP project website.  The Draft SFPRP will be placed on the website for public comment in the fall of 2011.

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What role do the railroads play in the development of the Plan?

The railroads do play a key role in the development of the SFPRP.  The 2 major railroads, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad are Steering Committee members as are two of the twelve short line railroads serving Colorado.  These railroads are the private companies that own the assets that are the primary focus of much of the state rail planning effort.  The Railroads will be providing a considerable amount of data (trains per day, commodities transported into, out of and through the state, etc.) that will be analyzed in the SFPRP.  Lastly, the railroads will be key partners in any public/private partnerships that will be developed to complete many of the infrastructure and service improvements proposed in the SFPRP.

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Will the Plan address future passenger rail service in Colorado in addition to the existing Amtrak trains?

The SFPRP will look at the two existing Amtrak services in the state as well as future passenger service proposals such as the services evaluated in the recently completed Rocky Mountain Rail Authority (RMRA) High Speed Passenger Rail Study.  Also, the Plan will look at other passenger rail projects that may be proposed and included in the Long Range Service and Investment Program element of the SFPRP.

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When will the Plan be completed?

The Final SFPRP is expected to be completed in January of 2012.

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