Money in Hand for SW Chief Route Track Work

Garden City, Kansas, now has funding in hand to devote to rebuilding BNSF tracks used by Amtrak’s Chicago-Los Angles Southwest Chief in Kansas and Colorado.

The city received a $12.5 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Matching funds pledged by such partners as the Kansas Department of Transportation, BNSF, local governments in southwest Kansas and southeast Colorado, and the Southwest Chief Coalition will bring the among of money for track work up to $21.8 million

BNSF is expected to replace 50 miles of jointed rail with continuous welded rail

The railroad said that without outside assistance it would have downgraded the line to freight train speeds after its contract with Amtrak expires in early 2016.

There is 158 miles of bolted track between Hutchinson, Kansas, and Animas Jct., Colorado, where the BNSF line from Denver turns south toward Amarillo, Texas.

La Junta, Colorado, is leading the campaign to land another TIGER grant that would include cover local governments in New Mexico.

The Southwest Chief is the only train using the former Santa Fe line from La Junta to state of New Mexico-owned track at Madrid, north of Albuquerque.

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