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Service Development Plan

An SDP is a process that defines the where, when, and how for our future rail service.

Coloradoans are working together to advance the vision and define the plan for passenger rail in our great state. Over the years, a broad range of stakeholders across the region completed studies and actions that brought passenger rail closer to reality.

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Alternatives Analysis

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).

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SDP Process

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. 

After the SDP is completed in late 2024, FRPR will enter the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) stage. NEPA is a decision-making process for all federal actions. It involved public involvement and requires that a project consider alternatives and measures to minimize harm to the surrounding environment. NEPA determines mitigation measures to offset the impacts. After NEPA approval, FRPR enters final design and construction.

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. 

Development Timeline

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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.

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, and consulted on specific topics related to the SDP, including service options (frequencies, speeds, station locations) along the route, fleet options, and infrastructure improvements needed to support the service. 

Stakeholder Meetings

  • Legislation
    FRPR District Act (Colorado Senate Bill 21-238)
  • Bylaws and Policies 
    FRPRD Bylaws and Board Policy Manual FRPRD Procurement and Purchasing Policy for Goods and Services
  • Resolutions
    Resolution 22-E001 Public Meeting Disclosure Resolution 22-F001 Recognition of Prior Fiscal Commitments Resolution 23-01 Adopting the 2023 Budget Resolution 23-02 Ratifying Contracts for the Administration of District Start-Up Business Resolution 23-03 Authorizing Director and Employee and Reimbursements Resolution 23-04 Amending the District's Notice Policies Resolution 23-05 Adopting a Colorado Open Records Act Compliance Policy Resolution 23-06 Adopting a Procurement and Purchasing Policy for Goods and Services Resolution 23-07 Joining the Colorado Retirement Association Resolution 23-08 Ratifying Contract to Participate in COLOTRUST Resolution 23-09 Regarding Participation in the Colorado Local Government Liquid Asset Trust (COLOTRUST) Resolution 23-10 Adopting a Contract with HNTB Resolution 23-11 Adopting a Contract with CDR Resolution 23-12 Regarding District Policy Direction for 2024
  • Adopted Budgets
    FRPRD 2023 Final Budget

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