Colorado is joining the effort to preserve the current route of Amtrak's Southwest Chief.
Yesterday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper went to Pueblo to sign a bill that creates a commission to work with officials in Kansas and New Mexico to continue Southwest Chief's existing service. The bill will also push for a new stop in Pueblo.
The Southwest Chief travels between Chicago and Los Angeles, with multiple stops through Kansas, including Newton and Hutchinson. However, part of the current route is in jeopardy because the Burlington Northern Santa Fe track it uses needs to be upgraded and maintained. BNSF, Amtrak and Kansas have pledged a combined $9 million to be matched by possible federal grants. Colorado's bill sets up a fund to accept donations to pay for the work but the money could only be spent if all states and parties contribute.