Cherokee Fiddle is a great song by Johnny Lee. It’s a song that makes you almost hear a steam whistle and smell the smoke of a train stack from history. Like the song, the people at the station are gone now and we must look to a new era for rail travel.
The future of travel in America is taking shape and it must be one of our priorities if we expect Cheyenne to prosper and grow. To be fair, Cheyenne has always been a community based on transportation. The first days saw steam engines chug in to Cheyenne with people and supplies. 1923 saw the completion of the Lincoln highway and again Cheyenne was a cornerstone of the project and the project was a cornerstone of Cheyenne. The years passed by and an airport and two interstate highways contributed to the continued symbiotic relationship that the first rails laid here had started. We are soon to come to a cross roads. If you’ve driven I25 from here to Denver lately you understand the infrastructure connecting the two Capital cities is stretched to its max. Yes, there is ongoing construction that will help fend off the inevitable but if extra lanes existed today, and they don’t, it would still be a parking lot from Fort Collins to Longmont. We have contemplated other workarounds like air travel, carpooling etc. but factually we need a dependable timely transportation alternative to Denver.
Perhaps the answer is to go back to our roots. Your Chamber has engaged with Colorado on the potential development of passenger rail for the front range. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS! A project director was hired a month back and we will be letting a RFP for development of the system in coming weeks. It’s a very exciting time and I look forward to sharing progress with you as it occurs.
In addition to this progress at the Federal Level we are putting pressure on Congress to put an infrastructure package together to address our dire transportation needs.