Taos lawmaker proposes funds to upgrade tracks, protect Amtrak route

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Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 7:00 pm | Updated: 12:13 am, Sat Jan 11, 2014.

A Taos lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would fund rail improvements intended to keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief running on its historic route through Northern New Mexico.

The passenger train, which runs between Chicago and Los Angeles, might be rerouted through Southern New Mexico if Amtrak doesn’t reach an agreement by January 2016 for upgrading and maintaining portions of the tracks in New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Richard Sachs posted at 11:36 am on Fri, Jan 10, 2014.

    Richard Sachs Posts: 2

    The reality that New Mexico must face is that the State will have to come into the 21st century, as with most states, to fund passenger rail which is Amtrak. The Railrunner Express is already funded in the form of the Rio Metro organization. Why not divert some of this funding to Amtrak? It seems this is taking too long to figure out.

  • Ernie Barney posted at 11:05 am on Fri, Jan 10, 2014.

    EB Posts: 10

    States from coast to coast are partnering with Amtrak to increase and improve service. The governor's statement that Congress has funded Amtrak since it's inception is true but misleading and narrow visioned. Virginia, Florida, Washington, Cali, Michigan and many other states have contributed and continue to invest in railway infrastructure and equipment instead of just roadways to support better public transportation for their states. Unfortunately there are those in Congress and State politics who want to kill Amtrak and have been unsuccessful in trying to do so for years. Ridership of rail is up nationwide as people look for alternatives to driving and crowded airports. Why can't NM join the rest of progressive, forward thinking states?

  • Steve Salazar posted at 9:28 am on Fri, Jan 10, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 1616

    Let's just say that NM improves the tracks, but Colorado and Kansas don't. The train will still have to find another route. If this isn't a joint effort, it will fail.


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• January 20 Opening day (noon)

• February 19 Deadline for introduction

• March 21 Session ends (noon)

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