July 16, 2009

Udall Congratulates the Rail Runner on Third Anniversary

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall, today congratulated the New Mexico Rail Runner Express on three years of successful service.

"The third anniversary of the Rail Runner Express is yet another accomplishment for New Mexico. The Rail Runner offers commuters a pleasant alternative to driving and provides a scenic ride on clean and comfortable trains. It can be much better than sitting in traffic on I-25," said Udall. "The success of the Rail Runner shows that New Mexicans are doing their part to help reduce greenhouse gases and America's dependence on foreign oil."

Udall is a member of two key Senate committees that deal with transportation issues and has championed the creation and success of the Rail Runner. As a member of the U.S. House, Udall helped secure federal funds for the Rail Runner.

Building on the success of the Rail Runner, on July 9 Udall and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced that New Mexico is partnering with Colorado and Texas to develop a high-speed rail corridor between El Paso and Denver running through New Mexico. The three states have taken the initial step to establish a high-speed corridor by requesting a viability study. New Mexico could receive up to $5 million from the Federal Railroad Administration under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express first started providing transportation to passengers on July 14, 2006, at just three stations. Today, they take, on average, 4,500 passengers a day to 13 stops between the cities of Belen and Santa Fe.