Regional
1:54 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

NM Amtrak Route In Jeopardy

An Amtrak official says New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas communities face the potential loss of passenger rail service if a new agreement isn't reached by 2016 for maintaining and upgrading portions of the Southwest Chief route through those states.

Amtrak's state government relations chief Ray Lang proposed to a legislative committee on Tuesday that Amtrak split the costs of maintenance and capital improvements for more than 600 miles of track with the states and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which owns the line but uses only a portion of it for freight trains.

Lang and northeastern New Mexico governmental officials asked lawmakers to consider a cost-sharing arrangement for each of the states to spend about $4 million annually for a decade to keep the Southwest Chief on its current route.

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