CDOT Rail Relocation Implementation Study

As the Front Range has grown, there has been much discussion of the need to relocate through-freight train traffic away from the communities along the Front Range. In 2002 BNSF and UP proposed a Front Range Railroad Infrastructure Rationalization Project, which would improve and relocate freight rail infrastructure, moving through-freight traffic east of the Front Range while still maintaining local freight service. CDOT initiated a Public Benefits and Costs Study to identify the potential public benefits and the costs associated with the proposed project. The purpose of the study, published in 2005, was to determine whether the public benefits warranted consideration of public financial participation in the project. The results of the Study suggested that there would be sufficient public benefits related to such rail infrastructure improvements to warrant further evaluation of a public/private partnership.



CDOT has initiated efforts to continue working toward implementation. The purpose of the Colorado Rail Relocation Implementation Study is to determine what steps will have to be carried out to form a public/private partnership, to define and finalize the project scope and costs, to determine how costs should be shared based on both public and private benefits and related factors, and to develop strategies for carrying out the necessary environmental clearances. A more comprehensive analysis of the proposed north/south railroad bypass east of Colorado Front Range communities will be conducted. Additional levels of detail related to costs, appraisals related to possible right-of-way acquisitions, estimated benefits of proposed future rail passenger service in the I-25 corridor will occur. Finally, an investigation of possible future funding sources and a proposed financing plan necessary to implement the proposed rail improvements will be products of this effort.

This study is not an NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) level environmental study, nor is it intended to predetermine any outcome of any environmental study that may be in progress or later undertaken related to this proposal. Furthermore, nothing prepared on behalf of this study shall preclude federal, state or local agencies or officials from fulfilling their responsibilities under the NEPA, as codified in 42 U.S.C., section 4321, et seq., or any of NEPA’s implementing regulations.