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Amtrak CEO to stop in New Mexico about train route

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm •  Published: July 10, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Amtrak's top executive is to travel through New Mexico on Saturday to meet with officials about keeping the Southwest Chief on its current route.

But New Mexico Transportation Department spokeswoman Melissa Dosher said no official from Gov. Susana Martinez's administration plans to meet with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman because the agency didn't learn of the tour until receiving a news release from the rail operator Thursday morning.

Boardman will take a special train along the Southwest Chief route from Kansas through southeastern Colorado to Albuquerque, Amtrak said.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., will travel with Boardman in the state, and they'll to meet with local officials along the route.

Amtrak has warned that the route might be changed unless there are improvements to the track owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Amtrak has proposed that New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas help share the costs of maintaining and upgrading 600 miles of track used through their states for the Southwest Chief.

Boardman starts his trip Friday in Kansas. He'll stop in New Mexico on Saturday at Raton, Las Vegas and Lamy. He'll go by car to the Philmont Scout Ranch. Scouts often travel on the train in the summer to Raton and then head to the ranch near Cimarron.

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