Envision the possibilities | AspenTimes.com

Envision the possibilities

Dear Editor:(This letter was originally addressed to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board.)I would like to share my thoughts related to selling the rails and ties of the jointly owned Aspen branch rail corridor. I’m sure there are many details the public is not aware of concerning the current proposal and negotiations.I support keeping at least the Glenwood Springs-to-Carbondale rails in place. I believe both trail and rail can easily co-exist in this section and that both can be important contributors to our local economy. By envisioning possibilities, I see a year-round attraction in the form of a scenic rail operation, and a draw for nationwide railcar operators. We can benefit with infrastructure that is already in place requiring minimal improvements.With both Glenwood Springs and Carbondale working toward improving their downtowns and creating new performance arts theaters; the idea of a classic train connecting the two communities seems exciting and possible. Imagine special trips for arts or entertainment, shopping, or dining out at restaurants in either community, along the route, or even onboard the train.Another opportunity that can broaden and diversify our economy is railcar excursions. The Website of the North American Railcar Operators Association is http://www.narcoa.org. Click on “excursions” for an idea on how our communities can benefit.Thank you for your work to address our current needs and plan for our future. Transit, trails, and rails can be integral assets in our regional economy. I support efforts to improve community success, invest in our future, and cooperate regionally. I believe that your board shares the same ideals.Greg JeungGlenwood SpringsGarfield County commissioner candidateformer RFTA board member

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