"We think it's a great program," he said. "We had a lot of support for it Valley wide to move forward."
Ellis and representatives of other shortline railroads will be in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with members of Congress, and Ellis plans to meet with Congressman John Salazar and Senator Michael Bennet's offices to discuss alternative funding for rail improvements.
"It's infrastructure, and that's one of the hot buttons for the Obama Administration, to improve infrastructure," Ellis said. "It's all the right buttons."
Ellis said the TIGER program was highly competitive because only 51 proposals could be funded out of more than 1,400. The local railroad's application alone was for $80 million and was one of 32 statewide totaling $1.1 billion. Applications throughout the nation totaled $59 billion, with only $1.5 billion available. Approximately one project in each state received TIGER funding.
"I am disappointed," Ellis said, "but I cannot really complain too much because there was a lot of competition for it."
He remained optimistic about the rail improvement project. "I think there will be other alternatives. Stay tuned, and we will see what happens."