From the Publisher’s Desk: Bring on light rail already

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By Bruce Schlabaugh

The Denver Airport was our destination. Bad weather was forecast – yet another winter storm was approaching. My son Sam dropped us at the Bustang pickup point on Woodmen Road then beat feet back home. As the clouds darkened and snow began to fall, the Bustang driver drove through ‘dead man’s’ Monument Pass and into Denver’s Union Station.

While waiting for light rail to the airport, the weather worsened. We wondered if the flight would be cancelled or not. Gambling on the latter, we decided to keep on going. From the station, we walked only a few steps onto the light rail Line A car and departed for a smooth ride to DIA.

What a relief! After years of driving everywhere under the sun, it was great to relinquish both driving, worrying about road conditions, and the parking cost! The $10.50 cost from Union Station to the airport was worth every penny. Bravo Denver for your light rail system!

Can you believe Santa Fe and Albuquerque already have a train for commuters and tourists alike? Seniors pay only $6 for an all-day pass. They could go from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and back in the same day.  Simply amazing.

Colorado Springs has been presented with a plan to join UCCS with Fort Carson, at Pikes Peak Community College. It would be routed down Nevada Avenue.  I might suggest the proponents include a spur to Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. It may cost a small fortune to install tracks and electricity for our trains. Why not populate the tracks with refurbished trolleys from the Trolley Museum?

There is a proposed rail project that would connect Ft. Collins with Pueblo, along the Front Range. Pueblo is already trying to Get Amtrak rerouted from Trinidad to Pueblo for the East to West train known as the “Southwest Chief.”

With the tremendous growth the Front Range is experiencing it seems likely that some sort of light rail connection would be inevitable. It is not so much a question of if, but when.  Have you driven between Colorado Springs and Denver lately? Am guessing you’d agree that we need options.

Roswell, now annexed onto Colorado Springs, was a coal mine settlement near the northern bluffs of Colorado Springs  and a 19th-century railroad junction.  The town was located at roughly the present intersection of Fillmore Street and North Nevada Avenue. It is now the home of The Trolley Museum. The  old roundhouse and some leftover tracks have given the Museum a base.

Now that we have opened the door to light rail in the Springs, I hope you will enjoy this month’s feature on the Trolley Museum. How many of you remember “Pie Town” and Roswell?

 

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