First Southwestern rail study released

Posted on October 22, 2014

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published its first multi-state plan for a comprehensive, high-performing passenger rail network that will support rail planning in six Southwestern states over the next 35 years. This is the first multi-state rail planning effort FRA has embarked upon, making it a model for future regional planning efforts.

“Our nation’s transportation systems must be interconnected and efficient across regions to meet current and future demand,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This study represents a major step forward, and will become a guide post for mobility and intermodal connections throughout the Southwest.”

The Southwest study was developed with regional stakeholders and state agencies considering existing travel conditions and future demand. The Southwest study examines connections to emerging rail markets in six Southwest states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

The study supports development of safe, reliable, efficient, and interconnected multimodal travel options, and envisions a rail network that supports environmental, social and economic sustainability. It illustrates how connections to local transit, aviation, highways and other modes can be integrated for travelers on a regional basis in a cost-effective manner.

The Southwest region’s longstanding interest in creating a higher-performing rail network helped bring the prototype study together. A diverse group of stakeholders — representing state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, transit agencies, Amtrak, freight railroads and private rail developers — were fully engaged in this effort.

To read the study, click here.


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