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.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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.

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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.

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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.

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8631
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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!
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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.

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post by lpetrich »

Denver's G Line Train Makes Its Maiden Voyage to Union Station
Day 1 of the G Line: Better Late Than Never

An Arvadan works through her feelings about RTD’s long-delayed commuter rail on the train’s maiden voyage.
The Southwest Extension will open on May 17, but there is still no date for the N line.

lpetrich
Posts: 1291
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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.

Martin Baumann
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post by Martin Baumann »

Do the commuter EMUs share tracks with Amtrak or freight at any point?

bdawe
Posts: 640
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:06 pm
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post by bdawe »

At Union Station they share some of the tracks inbound with Amtrak I believe
B. Dawe's map of routes and urban populations https://brendandawe.carto.com/viz/80b9d ... /embed_map" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; NOW updated with 2016 Canadian Populations

artman
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:07 pm

Re: Denver Area Light and Heavy Rail (RTD) systems

Post 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?

Return to “General Discussion - Passenger Rail”