• 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 Jeff Smith
 
Nice.
  by lpetrich
 
All Aboard: RTD’s N Line Starts Rolling From Denver To Thornton – CBS Denver with a bit of video of the ribbon-cutting and the trains and action.

RTD N Line Phase 1 Bridges Denver With Thornton - Railway Age - shows the 2-mile Skyway Bridge in the line - single track.

The N line is done out to Eastlake, about 13 mi from Union Station, and a second phase will extend it 5.5 miles further with 2 more stations.

The remaining Fastracks extensions are the light-rail L Line from its current end to the A line, the light-rail Southwest Line into Highlands Ranch, and the commuter-rail B Line from Westminster to Boulder and Longmont. The latter line will likely be done by DMU instead of by EMU.
  by lpetrich
 
RTD Board approves updated study of Northwest Rail ‘Peak Service’ Plan, backs majority of recommendations from accountability committ | RTD - Denver
On a 12-3 vote, however, Board members sided with the notion that taxpayers in those northern communities have contributed tax dollars to the ongoing build-out of the FasTracks plan approved in 2004, and that RTD is obligated to explore whether limited service on the existing rail corridor will attract enough riders to the concept.

Money to pay for the study comes for an internal FasTracks account that was set aside for just such purposes, argued supporters of the study, and the decision to implement rail service on firmer ground with fresh data. The “Peak Service” idea calls for three trains for the morning commute and three trains for the afternoon.
Two of the three dissenters:
Dishell said the study is pointless. “We’re undertaking a study to answer questions we are already know (the answers to),” he said, with the projected ridership low and the investment expensive. RTD’s projected per-rider subsidy, Dishell added, would be 17 times higher than the existing per-rider subsidy rates.

... Lewis cited the district’s maintenance backlog as a higher priority than this study. She said other incomplete FasTracks projects also need study and work. And she argued that too much of FasTracks revenue is already spent on debt service.
It seems to me that this northwest line will use existing Denver - Boulder - Longmont tracks, and that it will likely use typical commuter-rail rolling stock, and not the EMU rolling stock of the rest of Denver's commuter-rail system. It will parallel the existing B line out to that line's ending at Westminster.
  by lpetrich
 
FasTracks | RTD - Denver "Future Projects":
  • B LINE EXTENSION TO LONGMONT -- RTD continues to look for ways to move the rest of the Northwest Rail Line to Boulder and Longmont forward as funding becomes available.
  • C D SOUTHWEST RAIL EXTENSION -- ... RTD needs to secure additional funding to complete the extension
  • L CENTRAL RAIL EXTENSION -- ... RTD needs to secure additional funding to complete the extension.
  • N LINE TO THORNTON -- RTD continues to look for ways to fund the remaining 5.5 miles of the N Line from Eastlake•124th State Highway 7.
One should not read too much into the wording, but from the wording, it looks as if the B and the N lines are the highest priority. Or else the B and the N lines are more difficult to fund than the southwest or central extensions.
  by lpetrich
 
I notice something about Denver's commuter-rail lines. They have almost no connection with the existing intercity trackage, and almost no industrial sidings or spur tracks.

That makes them much like light-rail lines.

The G line is almost entirely double-tracked, though with a single-track segment between Ralston Rd. and Balsam St.

The B line is all single-track from where it branches off of the G line at Pecos Junction.

The N line alternates between single-track and double-track, and seems to be largely single-track.

The A line is largely double-track, but has a long single-track bridge over Airport Blvd., and a single-track stretch between 61st & Pena station and a little east of E-470. The bridges in the second stretch are wide enough for two tracks, and there seems to be enough room for a second bridge span for the first stretch.
  by lpetrich
 
I followed the Denver - Boulder - Longmont existing line from where it branches off of the big railroad yard north of I-70.

It is single-track all the way, and it is an active railroad line. I looked at it with Google Maps, and I saw a train on it. I checked what I was doing with OpenRailwayMap, and that line is called the Front Range Subdivision, and given the color "Main Line".

The rolling stock will be diesel, either loco-hauled or DMU's. Extending the Denver-commuter electrification out to Boulder and Longmont will be too expensive to justify for a peak-time service, I'm sure. US commuter-service DMU's are mostly separated from other traffic, so they are unlikely. That leaves loco-hauled trains, and they might be too much for the amount of service. That may explain the factor of 17 extra subsidy that this line might need.

I checked on the midday frequencies of the existing commuter lines, and I found:

A: 15 min, B: 1 hr, G: 30 min, N: 30 min.
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