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New Mexico eyes high-speed rail expansion

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By Ralph Damiani

It seems like New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are feeling big these days. And while we understand that Colorado and Texas are doing OK, we are really wondering how little old us is sharing in that wealth.

See, the three states are applying for federal funds to study the viability of a high-speed rail system in the hopes of putting new life into passenger railroads in the Intermountain West.

While that may be a good idea, how do we benefit from what is going to be a huge price tag. We are struggling to pay for the glorious RailRunner now.

But Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said Thursday the 720-mile high-speed rail system would travel at speeds of 110 mph to more than 200 mph from El Paso, Texas, through Albuquerque to Denver.

“The West was connected to the rest of the country by railroads. Our history is until the 1880s and the coming of the railroads, we were isolated,” Udall said. “You could view (the proposed high-speed rail corridor) as a second wave which revives the railroads that we've allowed to wither.”

Now this may not be a terrible idea, but does anyone expect it to work? Is not Amtrak only surviving via huge government subsides?


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