Colorado DOT may buy former UP Burnham Yard site

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DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation is close to buying a closed Union Pacific rail yard near downtown Denver, which could figure into the state’s efforts to begin Front Range passenger rail service or could help address a bottleneck in Denver’s light rail system.

Colorado Public Radio reports that Colorado DOT would like to buy 61 acres at the site of UP’s Burnham Yard, a former Denver & Rio Grande Western facility, which closed in 2016. The land could be used in efforts to improve traffic-choked Interstate 25, west of the yard, or could provide access from the south for the proposed Front Range rail service.

Randy Grauberger, project director for the Front Range rail effort, told Colorado Public Radio that any discussion of the land was preliminary. “ But over the years,” he said, “everyone's thought that if Burnham Yard every became available, it would provide additional access for passenger rail system coming up from the south, like the Front Range Passenger Rail concept." [For more on the project, see “Colorado agencies seek proposals to study Front Range passenger service,” Trains News Wire, May 29, 2019.]

The land could also give Denver’s Regional Transportation District room to add a third track at a point where five lines converge at a location on the east side of the yard.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South said the railroad had received a handful of offers for the yard, and that the railroad is reviewing those proposals.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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