This website contains updated information only for those corridors actively in construction, the Southeast Rail Extension and North Metro Rail. All other content on this website is meant for historical purposes only and may not be up-to-date. Please visit RTD-Denver.com for the latest information about RTD.
July-Oct 2015 Quarterly Newsletter
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Train being tested near Denver International Airport in July 2015.
Train Testing and Commissioning Under Way
Opening a commuter rail line is not as simple as just laying down railroad tracks and starting service. Once critical construction is completed, the robust testing and commissioning phase begins. This is to ensure that a safe and verified system is opened to the public. Denver Transit Partners (DTP), the Regional Transportation District's (RTD) contractor for the Eagle P3 Project, is currently undergoing the approximately year-long testing and commissioning process on the East Rail (A) Line to Denver International Airport (DIA).
With the majority of the construction on the A Line complete - with stations continuing to take shape over the course of 2015 - the A Line has shifted toward testing and commissioning the line to ensure the system is performing safely before being opened publicly. Although construction on the Gold (G) Line and the Northwest Rail (B) Line Westminster Segment will continue throughout the year and will shift into testing at a later date, the process for testing and commissioning will mirror the A Line's.
The first phase of testing, which lasts about seven months, focuses on integration testing of:
- Communications systems
- Signaling systems
- Ensuring traffic and rail signals communicate with one another at railroad crossings
- Testing the equipment at the new commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF), such as the cranes, hoists and the train wash machine
- Train testing which includes:
- Testing trains at the appropriate speed for the segment of rail
- Train acceleration and deceleration
- Safe braking performance and train stopping abilities
- Communications with the Operations Control Center (OCC) at the CRMF
- Positive train control (PTC) testing
The second phase of testing, expected to take up to five months, focuses on operator hiring and training, vehicle burn-in and the system performance demonstration.
The operator training includes:
- Classroom training
- "Behind the wheel" instruction
- Familiarization with the rail line, including segment speed limits and station locations
- Handling the vehicle
- Learning the proper use of the train features and functions
and commissioning, train horns will sound, but testing will typically occur during daytime hours.
Finally, the testing and commissioning phase goes into the system performance demonstration. This starts about a month before the expected opening date. The trains will operate at the full opening day schedule prior to operating to verify the schedule timetables can be met. Once this system performance demonstration is complete, the rail line will open to the public!
Currently, trains are operating between the 38th and Blake Station in Denver and DIA. Later this summer and into early fall, trains will operate between the CRMF, Union Station and DIA.
Testing on the Gold (G) Line will occur as early as this fall on the western portion of the line, while this process will begin in early 2016 for the Northwest Rail (B) Line Westminster Segment.
All of the testing will be completed in order for the entirety of the Eagle P3 Project to open in 2016. For additional information on the RTD FasTracks Eagle P3 Project, please visit www.rtd-fastracks.com.
DTP Continues Charitable Contributions
As part of the Eagle P3 Project's commitment to supporting a variety of community organizations in the Denver Metro Region, DTP staff and employees organized and collected $2,000 for school supplies to be included in more than 200 donated backpacks for disadvantaged students.
The backpacks were filled with age appropriate school supplies as part of our collaboration with A Precious Child, a DTP community partner.
----------------Save the Date for the East Rail (A) Line Open House!
Join RTD and its contractor, DTP, for our annual community open house!
Get the latest on construction progress as we build the RTD FasTracks East Rail (A) Line to Denver International Airport.
- See final station designs and an actual station
- Learn about the new commuter trains
- Find out about quiet zones along the rail line
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
Central Park Station Park-n-Ride
Smith Road and Uinta Street
Denver. CO 80238
Time: 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
For additional information, special needs request or to request Spanish translation, please contact Joshua Solis at 303.297.5284 or .
RTD Train Safety Outreach Program in Full Swing
With trains running on the East Rail (A) Line, RTD and DTP have begun robust safety outreach to schools, special interest groups and visually/hearing-impaired groups along the rail alignments.
"Safety first" is plastered on every RTD light rail vehicle and bus, and there is a reason for that. It is the agency's top priority and it is taken very seriously by every employee and contractor.
RTD with its contractor, DTP, has begun a massive outreach program earlier this year to educate the public about safety around the three new commuter rail lines that open in 2016 - East Rail (A) Line to Denver International Airport, the first segment of Northwest Rail (B) Line to Westminster and the Gold (G) Line to Arvada/Wheat Ridge.
With trains already being tested, safety outreach along the A Line has already been a great success with more than 15,000 school students' parents each receiving a safety brochure to help teach their children about train safety. This fall, the outreach team will go back to each of those schools to provide more personal and interactive training with the students to remind them about everything related to train safety. Outreach to schools and the community near the B and G Lines will being this fall, as well.
Through the national Operation Lifesaver model, RTD, by the conclusion of the program, will have reached out to 47 schools within one-half mile of the track, and some schools even farther out.
This means nearly 35,000 students, their parents and school faculty will learn how to safely maneuver at the new street level train crossings and how to be safe around the new train platforms, which are four feet above the tracks.
In addition to school outreach, the safety program this summer and beyond will offer presentations to organizations for blind and deaf persons as well as those dealing with suicide prevention programs.
For more information, visit www.rtd-fastracks.com/main_242. To request a safety presentation, contact Tara Bettale at 303.299.2641 or .
Final Public Tours of the Season!
It's the public's last chance to see the Eagle P3 projects first-hand before they open. The final bus tours for the 2015 season have been scheduled through October.
The first tour option will introduce attendees to the East Rail (A) Line, and the other is a combined tour that will showcase the Gold (G) Line and Northwest Rail (B Line) Westminster Segment.
Reservations are limited to the first 35 participants. These popular tours will be held on the following dates:
Gold Line (G-Line) /Northwest Rail (B-Line):
- Thursday, Aug. 20
- Thursday, Sept. 24
- Thursday, Oct. 15
- Thursday, Aug. 6
- Saturday, Aug. 15
- Thursday, Sept. 3
- Saturday, Sept. 19
- Thursday, Oct. 1
- Saturday, Oct. 17
For Gold (G) Line and Northwest Rail (B) Line tour information and reservations, contact Christina Zazueta at 303.576.3352 or .
For more information on project tours, visit www.rtd-fastracks.com/ep3_2.
New Station Added to East Rail (A) Line
If you've traveled to the airport the past few months, chances are you've noticed what looks like a ghost station east of Peña Boulevard just north of the 56th Avenue interchange.
That is a brand new station that has been added to the East Rail Line. Funded entirely by third parties including the City and County of Denver and private developer L.C. Fulenwider Inc., it has been named Peña Boulevard Station.
It will serve a new Panasonic facility that is now under development there, as well as commuters and airport travelers from the northeast metro area. It is planned to open when the East Rail Line opens for service in spring 2016 as the Regional Transportation District's (RTD) A Line. Travel time between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport will be 37 minutes.
Peña Boulevard Station will include an 800-space park-n-Ride for transit customers, accessible from Tower Road. It will be the sixth stop on the way from downtown to the airport.
The new station was built under a 2010 Intergovernmental Agreement between RTD and Denver. The agreement gave the airport the option to add up to two additional stations along the Peña Boulevard portion of the East Rail Line. The agreement requires third parties to assume the full cost of building each station. In 2012, the city selected the Fulenwider site for the first optional station. The Denver City Council finalized the financial arrangements in May.
The Fulenwider site is being developed as the U.S. headquarters for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, a technology and business solutions company that will anchor a 400-acre mixed-use business and residential development marketed as an environmentally sustainable community.
Rendering of the Olde Town Arvada Transit Hub, located in the Historic Olde Town Arvada business district.
Olde Town Arvada Transit Hub Promotes Transit Oriented Development
Construction continues to gather momentum this fall in Olde Town Arvada, the fifth stop on the westbound Gold (G) Line. At the center of the current construction activity is the Olde Town Arvada Station and the Olde Town Arvada Transit Hub, both located south of Grandview Avenue between Vance Street and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in the Historic Olde Town Arvada business district.
The Transit Hub structure, which will serve as a parking garage and bus facility, is being constructed by Trammel Crow as part of a RTD Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Pilot Program for the area. This TOD project was made possible through a partnership between RTD FasTracks, City of Arvada and the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority.
"The Olde Town Transit Hub will be the crown jewel of the entire Gold (G) Line commuter rail line,‖ says Maria VanderKolk, City of Arvada Communications Manager. ―Located in the heart of vibrant and historic Olde Town Arvada, the Transit Hub is so much more than a parking facility.‖
Upon completion, the Transit Hub will serve RTD commuters as well as Olde Town visitors, and will take the place of theexisting Olde Town Arvada Park-n-Ride (PnR) located at Wadsworth Boulevard and 56th Avenue. The original RTD plan called for construction of a 200-space open lot at the site of the current Park-n-Ride by 2016 when the Gold (G) Line opens and future construction of a 400-space parking lot by 2030.
With a four-level Transit Hub under construction, the site of the current Olde Town Arvada PnR will be available for other forthcoming TOD opportunities.
The four-level Transit Hub will feature:
- 600 parking spaces
- A 36,000-square-foot festival deck
- Seven bus transfer areas
- A Kiss-n-Ride
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Bike racks
Testing and commissioning of the Monaco Street Parkway railroad crossing located in Denver occurred in July 2015. When the commuter rail lines open in 2016, commuter and freight trains will not have to blow their horns at the crossings.
No More Choo-Choo Sound - Coming Soon!
The sound of a train horn, although nostalgic for some, is most often times an annoyance to residents and business goers near an active train line. Although train horns are an important safety tool for train systems, there are ways to keep those horns from blowing through innovative construction and design at railroad crossings.
A quiet zone, when a train does not have to blow its horn through an intersection, will be fully established along the East Rail (A) Line and the Gold (G) Line come opening day, so expect to hear the occasional train horn during the testing phase of the corridors as part of the safety commissioning of the lines.
This quiet zone is not only a federal mandate for RTD's commuter rail, but the freight trains will also be required to cease blowing the horn through intersections. However, if there is an emergency on the track or maintenance crews in the railroad right of way, the trains will blow their horns.
These are just a few of the safety measures put into place at these train and roadway intersections to keep pedestrians, vehicle traffic and train passengers safe:
- Quadrant gate arms - You'll notice at these intersections that four gate arms blocking the all lanes in both directions are in place to keep vehicles from swerving around the gates when they are down.
- Pedestrian gates and channelization - For pedestrians, you, too, will see a gate arm or pull swing gate at each intersection to alert you of a train coming. In addition, there is chain link fencing along the sidewalk as you approach the intersection to ensure you enter the crossing in the correct area. All crossings are compliant with the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Safety signage - Ample safety signage is installed at all intersections that alert pedestrians and vehicles of where to safely stop to wait for a train and that a second train may be coming in the other direction.
- Audible and visual alerts - As is true with most train intersections, these crossings will also have bells and flashing red lights to alert all traffic that a train is coming.
For more information on quiet zones or to learn more about safety measures built into the crossings, please contact Tara Bettale at 303.299.2641 or .
Small businesses discuss contracting and procurement opportunities with DTO staff at the Small Business Enterprise Outreach Event held on June 25, 2015.
DTO Hosts Successful Small Business Outreach Event
On Thursday, June 25, 2015, Denver Transit Operators (DTO), a part of the Denver Transit Partners team, hosted a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Outreach Open House. The event was held as part of the continued commitment to small business participation on the Eagle P3 project.
The event was marketed to more than 1,700 local, small business firms who could potentially provide goods and services during the 29-year operations and maintenance period on the RTD commuter rail lines.
Interested firms should visit www.denvertransitpartners.com on how to get registered to participate, apply for SBE certification with RTD, and for a full listing of contracting opportunities.
For additional information, you may also contact Marion Combs at 303-297-5285 or or Joshua Solis at 303-297-5284 or .
----------------Eagle P3 Project Economic Impacts Soars
More than $1,265 million has been injected into the local economy through June 2015 because of the work on the Eagle P3 Project. That number represents a staggering amount in support of local businesses and the job market.
The project currently employs 1,180 people with the top staffing number having reached 6,550 at the peak of construction. In addition to direct hires, the project continues to subcontract to 625 firms who have maintained staff members and who procure supplies from local distributors in support of the commuter rail build out.
With the East Rail (A) Line to be complete in the second quarter of 2016, and the Gold (G) Line and Northwest Rail (B) Line Westminster Segment steadily progressing, construction related new hires are likely to see a reduction.
However, hiring on behalf of DTO has begun with a total expectation hiring count of 230 people. DTO will provide the operations and maintenance of the commuter rail vehicles and infrastructure for 29 years once the design-build phase is complete.
Current Economic Impacts:
DTP Wages Paid-$205 million
Equipment, Services and Supplies-$520 million
The Eagle P3 Project continues its expectation to exceed our project goals.
Project Progress Photos
Overhead wire work at Union Station-June 30, 2015
Stored commuter rail vehicles at the CRMF-June 29, 2015