Goodbye La Junta, hello Amarillo: “Amtrak’s Boardman makes whistle stops in Southwest Chief cities”

Article:  Rail News – Amtrak’s Boardman makes whistle stops in Southwest Chief cities. For Railroad Career Professionals.

As much as I’d like to see the train stay on its present route between Newton, Kans, and Albuequerque, NM, I don’t see how this will work.

BNSF is already to the point where they run so little traffic over it that they are content to let the line slowly degrade.  In a way, this is sad because most of this line was once 90-mph territory thanks to the Automatic Train Stop system installed decades ago.  But the 90-mph speed limit is long gone the ATS having been turned off a few years back.  Almost all of BNSF’s traffic now moves through Woodward, Okla, Amarillo, and on to New Mexico via their “Transcon” that runs from Chicago and Los Angeles.

The cities and counties along the route certainly aren’t in a position to upgrade and maintain the line which means the states would have to kick in.  Colorado is willing, but they want the train to detour from its present route to serve Pueblo and that would add a lot of time to an already long end-to-end trip.