Governor Polis, Legislators, and Community Leaders Ride a Demonstration Train From Denver to Longmont

Thursday, March 7, 2024



Historic federal funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes reliable, safe, and convenient passenger rail possible for Colorado 


LONGMONT - Today, Governor Polis, Senate President Steve Fenberg, state legislators, and community leaders rode an inspection train from Denver to Longmont, part of the Front Range Passenger Rail route from Pueblo to Fort Collins. This route, the same route as the unfinished FasTracks proposed service, was selected for the Federal Railroad Administration’s competitive new Corridor Identification program. Historic federal funding provides Colorado with the opportunity to deliver new train service, giving Coloradans more reliable and convenient transit options and protecting Colorado’s air by minimizing traffic. 

“I’m excited to take the first demo train for front range passenger rail, which we are building out to improve our quality of life and reduce traffic. Historic federal funding for passenger rail is giving  our state the opportunity of a lifetime to provide Coloradans with easy, convenient, and safe travel by train. Expanding passenger rail opens the door for more housing opportunities that Coloradans can afford, including transit-planned communities, saving Coloradans money, reducing traffic and pollution, and protecting Colorado’s quality of life for future generations,” said Governor Polis.


Governor Polis speaks at Union Station in Denver to a crowd in front of a train before leaving for Longmont.


Governor Polis shakes Senate President Fenberg's hand on the train platform.

Delivering quick and convenient passenger rail builds on the Governor’s goal to ensure Colorado has housing hard-working Coloradans can afford near their job and transit options. After arriving in Longmont, the Governor and other attendees disembarked from the train and walked through a transit-oriented community. Highlighted in the Governor’s State of the State address and his Roadmap to a Future Colorado 2026, transit-oriented communities are a tool for Colorado to build more inherently affordable housing types near transit centers, lowering the cost of housing, reducing traffic, and protecting Colorado’s air quality. 

Governor Polis speaks with passengers on the train during the ride.


Governor Polis celebrates as he disembarks the train in Longmont.


“For years Coloradans have been waiting for the promise of a fast, efficient passenger rail system that makes it easy, safe, and affordable to travel all across our great state,” Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said. “Now, with the availability of critical federal funds through President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver on that promise and secure more efficient transit options while cutting emissions, reducing traffic, and connecting communities across Colorado.” 

“I’m excited that Colorado is looking to capitalize on the historic federal investment in passenger rail to significantly expand transit options in communities across Colorado, from the front range to the western slope. We are looking to lay the groundwork for passenger rail service to not only connect our large cities on the Front Range but also provide service from Denver to our mountain communities. These efforts will reduce traffic, expand housing options for workers, boost our rural economies and make it easier for Coloradans to get where they want to go while putting us on track to meet our climate goals,” said Speaker McCluskie.

The Colorado General Assembly is working to ensure Colorado takes the appropriate planning and coordination steps to secure Colorado's fair share of this historic funding. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity to see and experience what travel choices can offer us, and how we can connect our communities and support vibrant cities and towns. I want to thank the CDOT rail team that has been providing technical support to the front range passenger rail team. As they continue to work through every detail, it’s exciting to have the chance today to touch and see what the future can bring for us,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

“Previous generations have dreamed of inter-city passenger rail uniting Colorado’s Front Range. Thanks to Governor Polis’s leadership, the support of the State Assembly, unprecedented Federal investments in rail, the collaboration of CDOT, Amtrak, and our freight rail partners, and the unified determination of all the diverse communities joined together in the Front Range Passenger Rail District, we will deliver it.  But seeing is believing, and today’s train trip is an exciting early down payment on that vision,” said Chris Nevitt, Chair of the Front Range Passenger Rail District.

“We know we can do more to improve mobility with a lower carbon footprint than driving, here in the congested I-25 corridor along the Front Range, and across the country,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “But that can only happen if we work together with state leaders such as Governor Polis and the Colorado Legislature, railroads such as BNSF, and others.”

“BNSF takes tremendous pride in delivering transportation services to our freight and passenger customers across the country.  We recognize the vital role rail plays in the nation’s economy, supply chains, and intercity passenger travel,” said Jim Tylick, Assistant Vice President Passenger Operations at BNSF Railway. “We appreciate the early collaboration with Governor Polis, the Front Range Passenger Rail District, CDOT, Amtrak, FRA, and others as intercity passenger rail is considered along the Front Range in Colorado.”