The Albuquerque Journal reported in yesterday's (January 27, 2006) edition that the AG for the State of New Mexico had some doubts about the deal wherein New Mexico is purchasing the whole line (260 miles) from Raton to Belen from the BNSF Railway for it's communter railroad that will only run (50 miles) from Bernalillo to Belen. Here's the link, but you may have to subscribe, so you may not be able to read it. Maybe they want to tear up the other 210 miles to use for repairs to the rather scruffy 50 miles.
By the way, the state is also getting industrial spurs in Albuquerque and other towns along the line. Oh, wait, there are no other towns with industrial spurs along the line. What's that about? And get this, it's not a bond to the tune of $50 million that BNSF wants, it is an escrow account! Tie up that kind of cash and see what you can buy with it!
The State Legislature is also meeting this week. (In New Mexico, they only meet once a year and no more than a month in off years.) They appointed former Governor Dave Cargo (apt name) to the Cumbres and Toltec board. But that is tourist rail, not passenger rail. The Legislature acts as though Rail Runner is out of their hands.
What this writer fears is that the state will eventually dump millions into this project (Rail Runner), only to have it fail, and the taxpayers will never OK it again in our lifetimes. See previous blogs about other portions of this boondoggle.
© 2006 - C. A. Turek - firstname.lastname@example.org