Video: How we test commuter rail for safety, efficiencyIn order to safely and efficiently move commuter trains along the rail line, a number of technical systems must work together:
- Signaling system
- Power system
- Positive train control system
- Operation Control Center (OCC)
In preparation for the opening of the University of Colorado A Line as well as the G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge and the B Line to Westminster, RTD and its project concessionaire Denver Transit Partners conducted a number of federally-required tests to be sure that every piece of the system functions properly.
Train systems must pass several integrated tests before RTD can operate at full revenue service with passengers:
- First, trains were tested at 15 mph with a stop and proceed order-meaning the trains will stop at each crossing to ensure it is safe to travel through an intersection.
- Second, the train systems were tested traveling at 45 mph. The trains were allowed to travel through the crossings in this phase, since the crossings were tested in the previous phase.
- Finally, the system was tested at full speed-up to 79 mph.
The University of Colorado A Line to the airport opened in April 2016. The B Line to Westminster, and the G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge also open in 2016. Another commuter rail line, the North Metro N Line, opens in 2018.