CALL TO ACTION
Southern Chief funding at stake / calls needed to Joint Budget Committee members
Funding to keep the historic Southern Chief in Colorado is being determined by the JBC in the next few days. At stake is the State of Colorado’s contribution of $1.5 million in matching funds toward a federal grant necessary to help keep the railroad safe, accessible and sustainable for years to come.
Located along Colorado’s Santa Fe Trail and the Historic and Scenic Byway, the Southern Chief provides numerous jobs and supports heritage tourism to the region. Trained volunteers ride the train and share the history of the region and Santa Fe Trail. Thousands of Boy Scouts ride this Amtrak route annually, making an overnight stop in La Junta to visit the famous Koshare Museum.
Amtrak’s Southern Chief is southeast Colorado’s only mass transit providing passenger travel to points beyond Colorado. 12 Colorado communities plus the State of Kansas, Amtrak and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad have already contributed financial support toward this essential effort to keep the Southern Chief route in Colorado. If funding is not approved, the route will likely move to the southern pathway out of Colorado through Oklahoma, southeastern Colorado – and the entire state – will lose an important segment of our economy.
The House approved $1.5 million; the Senate bill was narrowly defeated. Now the Joint Budget Committee needs to align with the House version. Calls in support of funding are needed to three key JBC members now:
Senator Kevin Grantham, Canon City: 303-866-4877, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Millie Hamner, Dillon, 303-866-2952, email@example.com
Representative Dave Young, Greeley, 303-866-2929, firstname.lastname@example.org