Amtrak, N.M., Reach Southwest Chief Deal

Amtrak President Joe Boardman has worked out an agreement with the New Mexico Department of Transportation that will keep the Southwest Chief operating on its current route for the time being.

The agreement also provides that Amtrak will not make a request for annual maintenance funding help during the 2015 Legislative Session. Amtrak may need maintenance funding help from New Mexico at a later date.

Amtrak will join New Mexico communities and counties and the NMDOT to apply for a TIGER grant under the Federal grant program when U.S. Department of Transportation opens it for 2015.

If awarded, the TIGER grant would cover New Mexico’s one-time capital investment. Those costs are currently estimated at $6.7 million. The grant request may be more if Colorado and Kansas join the application.

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