Trains could return to Colorado’s Tennessee Pass, rumble through Leadville under pair of proposals | VailDaily.com
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Trains could return to Colorado’s Tennessee Pass, rumble through Leadville under pair of proposals

Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun
The Tennessee Pass hikes travel through area used by railroad and mining workers in the 1800s.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

It’s been 24 years since trains rumbled through the tunnel atop Tennessee Pass. 

That could change as interest in the dormant Tennessee Pass Line between Cañon City and Dotsero grows. A fledgling railway project in Utah’s Uinta Basin and a billionaire New York City developer with thousands of acres of wheat and an existing rail operation in southeastern Colorado are circling the tracks, hoping to revive the state’s 208-mile transmountain railway. 

If either get their wish, trains carrying freight, crude oil and, possibly, passengers, could be rolling through the Royal Gorge, Salida, Browns Canyon, Buena Vista, Leadville, Minturn, Avon, Eagle and Gypsum. 

The Surface Transportation Board that safeguards the nation’s rail network has spent the last three months working with the Tennessee Pass Line owner Union Pacific as the longtime rail operator negotiates with suitors for the stretch of railroad it idled in 1996. While few of the players are talking, the filings with the transportation board are telling. 

It began in February, when Colorado Pacific Railroad filed an applicationwith the Surface Transportation Board, asking it to force Union Pacific to sell the Tennessee Pass Line for $8.8 million. Union Pacific last year declined Colorado Pacific’s offer of $10 million. 

Read more via The Colorado Sun.


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