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Martinez could derail tri-state plan to save Southwest Chief

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Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014 7:00 pm

The greatest threat to derail Amtrak’s Southwest Chief from running through Northern New Mexico isn’t at ground level on its aging tracks, but perched four stories high in the New Mexico state Capitol.

A proposed partnership to bring Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico together with Amtrak and track owner Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to keep the train route active beyond 2015 could hinge on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s support. The partnership calls for each to shoulder a share of the track maintenance costs, and proponents of the plan in all three states view Martinez as its foremost obstacle.

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