Bill to Save SW Chief Passes Colo. House

The Colorado House this week approved legislation designed to save Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line through Southeastern Colorado.

HB14-1161, sponsored by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, passed on a 44-20 vote. State Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa, is sponsoring it in the Senate.

The bill would look to extend the route of the Chief to Pueblo.

Currently, the Chief runs directly from La Junta to Trinidad, but it would add a horseshoe-shaped loop to its route to include Pueblo, a net increase of about 65 miles.

The legislation creates a commission to plan and oversee the improvements to the line on Colorado.

The plan faces obstacles, including requiring several upgrades to track infrastructure and placing pressure on Amtrak’s scheduling of the train.

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