TIGER Grant to Fund Additional Track Upgrades on BNSF Route Used by Amtrak’s Southwest Chief

More federal grant money will flow toward rebuilding the route of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding a $15 million TIGER grant to the city of La Junta, Colorado, that will be used to fund track work on the BNSF La Junta Subdivision in Colorado and the Albuquerque Subdivision in New Mexico.

An earlier TIGER grant is being used to upgrade tracks used by the Chicago-Los Angeles train through Kansas.

Cities served by the train in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico have raised more than $9 million to match the TIGER grant. Collectively, $24.4 million has been raised for the track project.

The track work will include installation of 39 miles of new welded rail in Colorado and more than 20 miles of new ties and ballast in New Mexico.

The Chief is the only train using the route between La Junta and Madrid, New Mexico. At the latter point, the track into Albuquerque is owned by the State of New Mexico.

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