• 07/23/2024

    Colorado's Crazy Train: Chugga Chugga, Cha-Ching

    June 12, 2024
    1 Comment

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    “2024 will go down as the year of transit,” said Danny Katz, Director of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, according to Colorado Newsline last month. 

    Let’s check in on how it’s going.

    Colorado Light Rail trains are operating under speed restrictions, and for weeks the government has been cryptic about why. Recent public statements seemed to imply a safety concern, which is now confirmed and due to “needed infrastructure repairs.” According to Colorado Public Radio, “Operators say they were told to slow down to 10 mph” earlier this month. 

    Yikes. Not really a “Light Rail” at 10mph, is it?

    “...it’s not clear when the issue will be resolved, nor what the issue actually is. RTD issued a short press release Thursday afternoon saying staff made thorough inspections of its track, ties, overhead wires, and related infrastructure in May and discovered ‘issues’ that resulted in the speed restrictions. But RTD management has otherwise been tight-lipped, even sending a memo to front-line employees last week reminding them to ‘politely decline’ interview requests. An RTD spokesperson said that memo was unrelated to the slow train issue.”

    CPR, “RTD’s light rail trains are crawling this week. Operators don’t know when they’ll be up to speed again

    Now, the Denver Post is reporting that the delays are “mounting.” 

    Interestingly, and perhaps but likely not coincidentally, RTD is begging taxpayers for more money. 

    “Approximately 50% or $600 million of RTD's revenues will be subject to TABOR in 2025. This includes virtually all revenue except the 0.4% tax, federal funding, and investment income from federal funding…If additional funding sources are not identified and secured in the future, RTD will face fiscal challenges that will certainly impact its service delivery.”

    RTD, About RTD: Financial Outlook

    Let’s roll that back. 

    Half of RTD’s revenues is $600 million dollars? So, while RTD is pulling in $1.2 billion dollars, the infrastructure is so neglected that the trains can’t go above 10 mph?

    Sounds legit.

    Rail-Based Discrimination

    The expansion of US rail projects is a key part of the green agenda – as long as those rail projects are “clean.” From Colorado Newsline:

    “Two Colorado Democrats on Tuesday called on the Environmental Protection Agency to ‘carefully examine’ the proposed expansions of three rail terminals in eastern Utah that could dramatically increase hazardous oil-train traffic through the Colorado River Basin and the Denver metro area.” 

    Colorado Newsline, Bennet, Neguse urge EPA review of terminal expansions for Colorado-bound oil trains

    Democrats are for trains as long – as those trains aren’t carrying oil. 

    On that point, the Republican-led House Investigations & Oversight Subcommittee is holding a hearing tomorrow, entitled, “Environmentalism Off the Rails: How CARB will Cripple the National Rail Network.” 

    Watch here:

    Going Off the Rails

    Another campaign event, I mean, government hearing, took place Wednesday when the House Committee Transportation & Infrastructure held “Amtrak and Intercity Passenger Rail Oversight: Promoting Performance, Safety, and Accountability."

    During the hearing, witnesses confirmed that the expansion of Amtrak assumes access to current infrastructure. Current crumbling infrastructure. WATCH:

    Speaking of rail safety, remember that woman that was hit by a train while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car near Platteville? She’s now a millionaire. From ABC News:

    “A Colorado woman who was seriously injured when a freight train hit the parked police vehicle in which she sat handcuffed has reached an $8.5 million settlement, a lawyer representing two of the involved police officers said Wednesday.”

    ABC News, “A Colorado woman who was handcuffed in a police car hit by a train receives an $8.5M settlement

    They underpaid.

    Year of transit, indeed.

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    Ashe Epp

    Ashe Epp is a local writer and a Colorado Free Press contributor. You can find more from Ashe at linktr.ee/asheinamerica.
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    These "green" rail projects NEVER produce what they promise, always have huge cost overruns, and are financial boondoggle. They rape and pillage the taxpayer.

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