NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A high-speed railway could once again be in New Mexico’s future. A Las Cruces State Senator says he will be introducing the idea again after it failed in the legislature last session.
State Senator William Soules says the high-speed rail would travel anywhere from 150 to 200 miles per hour from Chihuahua, Mexico through New Mexico all the way to Denver. He says this would not be an easy or fast process if approved, but the economic benefits it would bring to the state in 20 years would be transformative.
“I’m under no illusions that this is going to happen next year, but we outta be seriously talking about it,” Soules said. “It would require international cooperation between Mexico and the United States. It would require cooperation between the governments of the state of Chihuahua, probably going through El Paso, or at least very near, so the state of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado.”
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The high-speed rail is not something that can travel on our existing rail system for safety reasons so it would have to be built with entirely new tracks at a high cost. Soules says he has no idea exactly how much a project like this would be, but estimates say it could be in the billions.
“It’s hugely expensive, I recognize that but it’s also a huge economic potential for the area going forward,” Soules said.
Soules says some have voiced their concerns with the cost of the potential project, the time it would take to build, and the fact that trains aren’t used like they were decades ago.
The first potential high-speed rail in the United States is under construction in California at a price tag of $105B that’s set to be running by the end of the decade.