Service Development Plan
An SDP is a process that defines the where, when, and how for our future rail service.
20 Years in the Making
Planning for Front Range Passenger Rail service began 20 years ago. Over the years, a broad range of stakeholders across the region completed studies and actions that brought passenger rail closer to reality.
In 2020, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission (predecessor to the current FRPR District) completed an Alternatives Analysis that evaluated corridors for passenger rail service to the major population centers, considered governance options, and conducted stakeholder outreach. The Alternatives Analysis showed that FRPR is technically feasible and can be implemented using existing transportation corridors. It also demonstrated overwhelming public support for FRPR.
The Alternatives Analysis recommended a system whereby passenger trains operate on shared track with freight operations, which would decrease the initial investment capital needed to implement future FRPR service. In conjunction with this effort, CDOT and metropolitan planning organizations along the Front Range incorporated FRPR into their planning documents, and the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission secured a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to develop a formal Service Development Plan (SDP).
The SDP evaluates route, stations, service, infrastructure, operations, costs, and financing, culminating in an implementation plan for initial train service. The SDP considers how to use existing rail infrastructure and leverage railroad and community partnerships and multimodal connections to create a train service people are excited to ride. A completed SDP makes the FRPR District eligible for millions of dollars in federal funding, which will be crucial for bringing safe, efficient, and reliable passenger rail to the Front Range.
The SDP process will answer:
How often would trains run?
Where would trains stop?
What infrastructure upgrades and financial support are needed?
What amenities are future customers interested in?
What railroad and community partnerships are needed?
How can pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections foster a train service people are excited to ride?
Visit the FRA website for more resources, including a preview of the Service Development Process.
Public and Stakeholder Involvement
CDOT and the FRPR District are committed to an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative planning process with everyone interested in, affected by, and involved in FRPR. Throughout the SDP process, there will be online and in-person engagement opportunities where the public and communities can share what they need and want from passenger rail service along the Front Range. Venues will include public meetings, focus groups, stakeholder briefings, and informational webinars. These opportunities will be distributed to the mailing list and posted on this website.
The SDP requires coordination with host railroads, state and federal agencies, transit agencies, elected officials, Tribes, local governments, transit and rail advocates, universities, potential travelers, residents and property owners directly adjacent to stations and the corridor, economic development corporations, chambers of commerce, special interest organizations, and environmental justice stakeholders to gain diverse and comprehensive input. These audiences represent a wide variety of needs and interests on a local and regional scale. As technical findings are developed, smaller focused discussions may be convened.
Key stakeholders will be informed throughout the SDP, while also consulted on specific topics related to the SDP (e.g., past planning and routes evaluated to date; service options [e.g., frequencies, speeds, station stops] along the route; fleet analysis; infrastructure needed to support the route [e.g., sidings, bridges]).
Check back soon for an updated calendar of events, roster of stakeholder groups, and to learn more about current conditions.