• Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by lpetrich
At long last!

RTD | G Line To Arvada and Wheat Ridge. Opening date: April 26, 2019

RTD | E and F Line Extensions Southeast Line to to Lone Tree. Opening date: May 19, 2019

RTD | N Line North Metro Line. March 11, 2019: planned electrification of the overhead cables as part of system testing.

RTD | C and D Line Extensions Southwest Line to Highlands Ranch. Still in planning.

RTD | L Line Central Extension. Still in planning.

RTD | B Line | The Future of the B Line Westminster - Boulder - Longmont. Still in planning.
  by lpetrich
RTD recommits to completing train service to Boulder, Longmont, considering interim plan - Boulder Daily Camera
Three trains from Longmont to Denver in the morning, and three in the reverse direction in the evening.
The resolution blamed the delay in completing the four unfinished corridors on a "variety of factors" that have arisen since voters passed the funding, including requirements for new technology, signal systems and commuter rail cars.

Also contributing to the setbacks, according to the resolution, were an increase in right-of-way acquisition costs, the decision that all but one of the trains be electric rather than diesel-fueled, significant hikes in construction material costs and the 2008 economic recession.
They had originally considered making more of the system diesel, but for whatever reason, they decided to make all but the Longmont line electric, and even that has a bit of electric, out to Westminster.
  by lpetrich
I checked on single vs. double tracking for the commuter lines:

A line: Union Station - double - Chambers Rd. - single - 40th Ave. station - double - 61th Ave. station - single with double-width right of way - a little south of Pena Blvd. - double

I found that out from Google, Bing, and Mapquest, but none of those three ls very up-to-date about the length of the line -- it shows the line late in construction, with most of the rails in place but not all of them. I found some ride videos for the train:

The Train to the Plane - RTD University of Colorado A Line - DIA to DUS - YouTube
The Train to the Plane - RTD University of Colorado A Line - DUS to DIA - YouTube

The view was leftward relative to the train's motion, and in the double-tracked parts, I could see the other track. It merged at the beginnings of the putative single-tracked parts and split at the ends of those parts. The commuter-train tracks were separate from the intercity-train tracks, and there were some thick barriers between them in some parts. The western single-track segment was largely a viaduct that was built for only a single track. One would have to build an extra viaduct to double-track it. The eastern single-track segment was built wide enough for a second track, complete with two bridges wide enough for two tracks.
  by lpetrich
In Google Maps, there was a little bit of construction of the N line, and it seems to alternate between double-track and single-track parts.

The B and the G lines share tracks to Pecos Junction, all double track. The B line continues further to Westminster as single track, and there is some cleared area that suggests that it could continue further. The G lines continues further as double track, becoming single track at Ralston Rd. There is a split into double track a little east of Kipling St., judging from the under-construction bridges there. There is very little construction to the west of there.

This was for when the Google Maps pictures were taken, so this is hopelessly out of date.

The built parts of the commuter-rail lines are all separated from the existing intercity rail lines, even having bridges and viaducts over those lines. Thus making them much like typical urban-rail lines. The proposed extension to Boulder and Longmont is to be peak-hour only, and I suspect that it will use diesel rolling stock on existing tracks. That will make it much less expensive to build.
  by Jeff Smith
Thanks for keeping us up to date! I retire in a few years, I'm going to have to get out there and check out the system!
  by lpetrich
I've found some video flyovers of the tracks at rtd-fastracks.com Verified with YouTube video from riders for R, W, A, and B.

I checked Google Maps for the Southwest extension, and it showed only a little bit of construction - mostly bridges. But what it did show is consistent with double-tracking.
  by lpetrich
The southeast extension is finally open: RTD Extends Southeast Light Rail, Opens New Stations – CBS Denver, 2.3-mile extension of RTD Southeast Rail Line opens Friday | FOX31 Denver It has three new stations, and it cost $233 million, or about $100 million/mile.

The remaining extensions' lengths:
  • Southwest: 2.5 mi, 1 new station
  • Central (L): 3.5 mi, 3 new stations
  • North (N): 13 mi, 6 new stations (under construction)
  • North (N) II: ~5 mi, 2 new stations
  • Boulder-Longmont (B): ~35 mi, ~6 new stations
N(ext) Line: RTD begins testing northbound rail | Westminsterwindow.com
Buzek said the board committed April 15 to expansions beyond the current work, including expanding the N-Line north of Eastlake up to Colorado Highway 7 and expanding the B-Line, which runs from downtown to Westminster Station at about 70th and Federal Boulevard. Plans call for running that line north from Westminster through Boulder and on to Longmont, eventually.

“But the board has now recommitted, and are letting the world know, that we are committing to finishing all of the unfinished FasTracks corridors,” Buzek said.
Heard Chatter About A Bare-Bones RTD Train To Boulder? Don't Hold Your Breath | CPR
At the top of the list: RTD does not yet have a cost estimate from Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which owns the needed right of way. The cost to use their rails just six times a day would likely be much less than the 55 times a day called for in the original proposal. But a hard number for that, and other BNSF fees is needed. And Lubow doesn’t know when that will come.
However, it has tentative support from Governor Jared Polis.
  by artman
I might humbly request that this entire sub-topic move out of the General Discussion topic and move up one level to the Passenger Rail section. Surely RTD has become large enough and has enough conversation to warrant this?
  by lpetrich
Testing begins for RTD’s new N Line in northern metro | FOX31 Denver - 2019 Apr 22

N Line Delayed Once Again With Opening Set For Summer 2020 – CBS Denver - 2019 Sep 25 - projecting 2020 May - Aug.

RTD Board OKs Temporarily Cheaper Fares On The N Line | Colorado Public Radio - 2019 Nov 13

N Line nears arrival in Thornton and Northglenn - 2020 Jan 22 - expected opening still 2020 May - Aug.

As RTD threatens legal action for N-Line delays, a bill would add oversight to the district
The project was supposed to be handed over to RTD for testing and training in June 2019, but that deadline came and went and work continued.

“We also did not get the project turned over to us in September, October, November, December, January and on February 3, and so it is now time to take the next step if we have to,” Tonilas said.

With the most recent set of delays, RTD now says the earliest the N-Line will be able to open is August. Before that, however, the rail line has to go through more testing and get the final approval from federal authorities and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ber--60831
The Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) yesterday announced it will open the N commuter-rail line Sept. 21.

The new 18.5-mile, six-station line will serve downtown Denver, Commerce City, Northglenn and Thornton, and include a stop at the National Western Complex in Denver.
The line will be the first electrified commuter-rail line that RTD will operate. Denver Transit Partners operates RTD’s University of Colorado A, B, G lines.

The N Line features positive train control (PTC) technology, making RTD the first U.S. transit agency to build PTC into a new rail system from the ground up, agency officials said.
  by MattW
I thought the A-Line started with PTC? And integrating it and the grade crossings was the cause of all those issues early on?
  by Pensyfan19
Do you remember, the night the N Line opened in September?

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/co ... annel=news
Denver’s Regional Transit District (RTD) will open the first 13 miles of N Line (North Metro Rail Line) regional commuter rail service Sept. 21. The electrified line links Denver’s Union Station with Commerce City, Thornton and Northglenn, and includes six new stations.


Six trainsets (married pairs) will operate daily with 30-minute headways. End-to-end travel time is 29 minutes.
To watch the livestream opening ceremony for the N Line (Sept. 21, 10 a.m. MDT), click here.

RTD should play the song I linked for the ceremony. :wink:
Last edited by mtuandrew on Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Reduced to fair-use quote
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