If Colorado voters approve a proposed $15 billion plan to build a passenger rail line along the Front Range next fall, Cheyenne is ready to jump on board.

"I think there's a real opportunity for passenger rail service in Cheyenne," Mayor Marian Orr said. "This could be a real game-changer for the city."

Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Dale Steenbergen is a non-voting member of the Southwest Chief & Front Range Rail Commission, which was formed by the Colorado Department of Transportation in 2017. Orr and Laramie County Commissioner Linda Heath have both met with the committee to discuss extending the proposed passenger rail line from Fort Collins to Cheyenne.

CDOT's initial plan calls for construction of a passenger rail line with connections in Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, with bus service running from Fort Collins to Greeley and Cheyenne, and an additional train connection running east from Colorado Springs to La Junta and Lamar, and south from Pueblo to Walsenburg and Trinidad.

Extending the rail line to Cheyenne may help secure additional federal funding for the project, according to Orr. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and could be a powerful political ally in Cheyenne's bid for the Front Range rail line.

Orr envisions a new passenger rail station could be the centerpiece of revitalization efforts in the West Edge District downtown and would help the city recruit Colorado commuters looking for a lower cost of living and better quality of life in Wyoming.