"We haven't had passenger rail service in Lubbock in a long, long time," said Ports-To-Plains Chairman Randy Neugebauer. He's touting the merits of a proposal to bring passenger train service back to Lubbock.
At the Ranching Heritage Center a massive steam engine rests on display as a museum piece, a testament to the age of jet travel and the interstate highway system. But the Texas Association of Rail Passengers says hold on! America's love affair with trains never went away, and maybe with enough political pull, they can get those wheels turning again.
"So there is a love affair with trains in Lubbock, Texas," said Sue Castles. She's the conductor of this initiative. A train route that travels from Ft. Worth, through Lubbock, and on to Denver. It's called the Caprock Xpress. An idea born out of a little frustration. "My husband doesn't fly, and I woke up one morning and I decided I love Lubbock, I want to live here and retire here, but I want to travel and he won't fly, so I thought, 'I've got to get a train.'"
In just over a year, she's attracted the interest of Amtrak and has local politicians fully supporting her dream. "When you're campaigning around the country for businesses to come here and you mention that you've got passenger rail service as well as freight rail service and an international airport, and you've got a good highway system, all of these things begin to add up and help your region develop," said Neugebauer.
Sue Castle's hoping that the Caprock Xpress becomes a reality within the next 10 years, but with her determination, don't be surprised if you hear 'All Abo0ard,' much, much, sooner. "I mean I want it tomorrow!"