Colorado Future Front Range Rail

I’m generally not a fan of fantasy transit maps, either completely made-up “crayon” maps or maps based, at least, on an actual official proposal, however unlikely. This is the latter, and then only just — the State of Colorado hasn’t even really started to study an intercity rail line between Denver and cities to its north and south; even advocates haven’t gotten very far. Yet the potential is real: There are now nearly 5 million people living in a corridor less than 200 miles long, and rarely more than a few miles wide, and both Utah and New Mexico now have commuter rail in their less-populous urban corridors. As there is no actual proposal, this map makes assumptions on station locations. It also assumes “semi” high-speed rail technology using existing rights-of-way like that currently being built in Chicago-St. Louis and other places, and not exotic and highly unlikely Hyperloop tech. It includes connections to Metro Denver’s RTD rail system, as well as a rerouted Amtrak Southwest Chief. Finally, there is no east-west line as in other Colorado rail proposals, as its steep grades could cost tens of billions, and it would only really serve skiers on Sundays during ski season.

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