Friday, July 17, 2009

Denver, BNSF reach agreement on line sale

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Denver's Regional Transportation District and BNSF have reached agreement for RTD to acquire part of BNSF's Denver-Cheyenne, Wyo., route for regional passenger rail use. The segment stretches from Denver Union Station to 72nd Street in Westminster, Colo.

RTD will pay $93.7 million for the acquisition, plus roughly $32 million in relocation expenses; BNSF will be required to relocate a yard and some tracks.

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RTD will use the route for its Northwest Rail Corridor and for the Gold Line along BNSF's Front Range Subdivision. The purchase is part of RTD's FasTracks transit expansion program implementing regional rail service, and expanding light rail operations, in the Denver area, using Denver Union Station as a hub.

RTD recently concluded a similar agreement with Union Pacific, acquiring part of a UP route to form the planned North Central Corridor line.

“This agreement represents yet another significant milestonefor FasTracks,” said RTD General Manager Cal Marsella.

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“BNSF is pleased to have concluded thisMemorandum of Understanding with RTD, and we look forward to reaching a formalpurchase and related agreements with RTD as it continues to develop FasTracks,”said Jeff Wright, BNSF’s region vice president, Central Operations.