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The segregation of rights of way is an artifact of Federal Railroad Administration regulation, so the alternatives facing a local area under the current regulatory structure are narrower than the alternatives facing a national program with the FRA tasked with implementing a new regulatory regime for the Rapid Rail network.
Set the arbitrary part of the current regulatory system to one side. If there is an electrified Front Range rail corridor that can support 100mph freight with reliable delivery ... which is a vital thing to have for Energy Independence, we cannot have the largest urban center in the Mountain West reliant on diesel motor freight ... then sharing that with passenger rail means that the biggest remaining tasks for the passenger rail system are sorting out the rail line into the urban core and the passenger stations along the way.
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
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