Colorado, Midland & Pacific Railway Company, a subsidiary of Rio Grande Pacific, issued the following press release on a deal it’s struck with Union Pacific to possibly operate future passenger and freight rail service on the dormant Tennessee Pass Line through Eagle County.
In November, a Rio Grande Pacific representative told RealVail.com that the company was working on a deal with Union Pacific that would include passenger service. This followed an offer earlier in the month by competing Colorado Pacific Railroad to run a year-round, round-trip, daily passenger train from Pueblo to Minturn. Now here’s the full Colorado Midland press release from Thursday, Dec. 31:
Eagle County, Colorado – Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway Company (CMP) has entered into a commercial agreement with Union Pacific Railroad (UP) for the majority of the Tennessee Pass rail line in Colorado owned by UP. CMP has filed for common-carrier authority to operate the Tennessee Pass Line with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, the federal agency that regulates railroads.
CMP will assess the interest of the communities served by the Tennessee Pass Line for commuter passenger rail services connecting the residential areas and workplaces of Eagle, Lake, Chaffee, and Fremont counties. If there is interest, CMP will assist public agencies in obtaining funding for establishing passenger rail services.
CMP appreciates the state and local agency efforts already in progress to bring commuter rail services to the area, and intends to work with transportation agencies, community groups, the State of Colorado, and the cities and counties served by the Tennessee Pass Line to evaluate the feasibility of commuter and passenger rail services.
CMP President Robert Bach said, “We look forward to engaging in the transportation planning work already underway to determine how the Tennessee Pass Line might play a role. It’s exciting to bring this additional option to the table.”
CMP also intends to explore development opportunities for freight rail services originating or terminating on the Tennessee Pass Line.
Track and other infrastructure will require rehabilitation before any service can begin.
CMP wants the public to be safe and aware: trespassing on railroad lines, even if they appear inactive, is dangerous and illegal. Please report trespassing to local police. For railroad emergencies call: 682-703-8505.
Colorado, Midland & Pacific Railway Company (CMP) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Grande Pacific Corporation (RGPC), which owns or operates freight and passenger railroads in eight states including the DCTA Commuter Rail “A” Train between Denton and Carrollton, Texas.
RGPC provides a broad range of services to the railroad industry worldwide. RGPC’s expertise and services portfolio includes railroad communications and signaling technologies; railroad, track, and signal construction; railroad maintenance; track machinery remanufacturing; and engineering and consulting services. More information at: www.rgpc.com.
Editor’s note: Here’s a PDF link to Colorado Midland’s filing to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which indicates its annual revenues will not exceed $5 million.
Editor’s note 2: This post has been updated to more prominently reflect the competing passenger-service offer from Colorado Pacific Railroad, which did not immediately provide a comment on the Colorado Midland release.