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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.

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Winter 2013-2014 Project Newsletter

Eagle Commuter Rail Project Newsletter Header
Eagle P3 Project Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2014
PDF Printable Version Here

Eagle Project 2013 Year-End Review

Aerial photo of the commuter rail maintenance building on December 26 2013
The commuter rail maintenance facility under construction in December 2013.

The Eagle P3 Project reached a number of significant milestones in 2013. We're excited about how much we've accomplished over the past year and look forward to an aggressive construction schedule this year as we get closer to our 2016 opening day.

Some of our achievements:
  • Installed the first track on the entire project, starting at 56th Avenue and Peña Boulevard heading toward Denver International Airport.
  • Framed and installed walls at the commuter rail maintenance facility, where the Operations and Control Center for the entire system will be located.
  • Constructed the first railroad crossing on the Gold Line, at Tabor Street and Ridge Road in Wheat Ridge.
  • Completed several roadway intersection and railroad crossing reconstructions on the East Rail Line, including drainage improvements, sidewalk installations and roadway repaving.
  • Delivered the first 20 rail car bodies to the Hyundai Rotem factory in Philadelphia.

In order to keep the community informed on the progress of the project, our Public Information Team:
  • Hosted six project open houses with more than 650 attendees.
  • Distributed more than 100,000 email notifications, including construction notifications, public meeting invitations, monthly construction updates on all rail lines and quarterly newsletters.
  • Delivered more than 47,000 construction notices to businesses and residents along the rail lines.
  • Provided more than 125 presentations to elected officials, neighborhood associations and community groups.
  • Conducted four bus tours of the project for 120 stakeholders

For more information on the project or to join the project email distribution list, please visit www.rtd-fastracks.com.   


RTD team visits rail car plant for first-hand report

Photo of RTD DTP and Hyundai Rotem officials at the Philadelphia assembly plant on December 10 2013
RTD officials receive a first-hand view of the progress on the commuter
rail vehicles in Philadelphia.

Regional Transportation District (RTD) General Manager Phil Washington and FasTracks Assistant General Manager of Capital Programs Rick Clarke toured Hyundai Rotem's Philadelphia plant in mid-January with other members of the management team.

There, they got a first-hand status report on the commuter rail cars being assembled for the Eagle P3 Project and the North Metro Rail Line. Here is what they learned:
  • 20 rail cars were on the manufacturing plant floor in various stages of assembly; the total order for Eagle P3 is 54 cars.
  • Assembly includes installing wiring, wheels and coupler mounting, propulsion motors, braking and electrical systems, windows, seats, bike racks, handrails, flooring and lighting.
  • Some 250 Hyundai Rotem employees are working on the assembly process, which means FasTracks is supporting job creation in Denver and Philadelphia.
  • Once fully assembled, Hyundai Rotem will test the rail cars in a high-pressure water chamber to check for leaks.
  • RTD FasTracks expects the first shipment of commuter rail cars to arrive in September, when they will go on display and undergo extensive track testing.
  • Hyundai Rotem's nearly 300,000-square-foot Philadelphia plant fulfills federal requirements that 60 percent of the rail cars be composed of U.S.-made components and that final assembly be done in the United States.
  • The rail cars are based on state-of-the-art technology that is smoother, faster and quieter than diesel trains, which are often used on commuter rail systems.
  • Denver will be the first U.S. city since World War II to introduce electric commuter rail cars to its transit system; San Francisco's Caltrain is retrofitting its system with electric rail cars and is tapping into RTD's expertise.

Six commuter rail stations receive new names

The RTD Board has unanimously adopted several changes for six of the 15 commuter rail stations on the Eagle P3 Project - four on the Gold Line and two on the East Rail Line.

There are several reasons for the changes. Safety experts recommend that RTD eliminate similar names in its rail system to avoid confusion during emergency dispatching. In addition, four of the six local government partners on the project requested changes to better fit future land use plans.

Here are the final station names:

All lines:
  • Union Station.

Northwest Rail:
  • Westminster.

Gold Line:
  • 41st & Fox
  • Pecos Junction (change from Pecos)
  • Clear Creek • Federal (change from Federal)
  • 60th & Sheridan • Arvada Gold Strike (change from Sheridan)
  • Olde Town Arvada
  • Arvada Ridge
  • Wheat Ridge • Ward (change from Ward Road)

East Rail Line:
  • 38th & Blake
  • 40th & Colorado
  • Central Park
  • Peoria
  • 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd. • Gateway Park (change from 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd)
  • Denver Airport (change from Denver International Airport)

Station Profiles

A total of 13 new stations will serve the RTD FasTracks Commuter Rail Lines-East Rail Line, Gold Line, and Northwest Rail Westminster Segment. Below are this quarter's featured stations, along with the most current renderings for each.

Rendering of the Pecos Junction Station
Rendering of the Pecos Junction Station located on the Gold Line/Northwest Rail Westminster Segment in Adams County.

Pecos Junction Station

The Pecos Junction Station is located on the Gold Line/Northwest Rail Westminster Segment, along Pecos Street, south of I-76 in Adams County. From Denver Union Station, the Pecos Junction Station will be the second stop along the Gold Line.
  • Travel time to/from DUS: 8  minutes
  • Travel time to/from end of line Wheat Ridge • Ward Road Station: 17 minutes
  • Parking spaces on opening day: 300
  • Type of parking: Surface

Rendering of the 40th Avenue and Airport Boulevard Station
Rendering of the 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd • Gateway Park Station located
on the East Rail Line in Aurora.

40th Ave. & Airport Blvd. • Gateway Park Station

The 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd • Gateway Park Station is located on the East Rail Line  along 40th Avenue north of I-70 in Aurora. From Denver Union Station, the 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd • Gateway Park Station will be the fifth stop.
  • Travel time to/from DUS: 23 minutes
  • Travel time to/from end-of-line Denver International Airport: 12 minutes
  • Parking spaces on opening day: 1,079
  • Type of parking: Surface

On Track to Opening Day...

  • Eagle P3 Project breaks ground, Aug. 26, 2010
  • Right of way acquisition begins
  • RTD selects Denver Transit Partners as contractor
  • Project design underway
Photo taken at East Rail Line groundbreaking on August 26 2010
Eagle Project groundbreaking

Photo of excavator digging in soil at East Rail Line groundbreaking
Eagle Project groundbreaking

  • Gold Line breaks ground, Aug. 31, 2011
  • Utility relocations begin on the East Rail Line
  • Right of way acquisition 22% complete
Photo courtesy of the Denver Post showing prospectors conducting Gold Line groundbreaking on August 31 2011
Gold Line groundbreaking (photo courtesy of The Denver Post)

Photo of early construction of East Rail Line in the Coors Field parking lot
Wall construction at Coors Field

  • Multiple bridges on the Eagle P3 Project under construction
  • 407 utility relocations completed project wide
  • Commuter rail car fabrication underway
  • 40th Avenue reconstruction project begins
Photo of worker on the deck of the Utah Junction Bridge
Construction on the Utah Junction Bridge

Photo of construction on the Jersey Cutoff Bridge
Construction on the Jersey Cutoff Bridge

  • Rail installation begins
  • Construction on the commuter rail maintenance facility begins
  • Project design 98% complete
  • First commuter rail cars shipped to Philadelphia
Photo of rail tie installation
Installation of rail ties

Photo of commuter rail car body shell being delivered at Port of Philadelphia
Arrival of the commuter rail vehicles in Philadelphia

* -- Planned Milestones
  • First commuter rail cars delivered to Denver
  • Construction complete on the commuter rail maintenance facility
  • Continued rail, electric and systems installation
Photo of commuter rail maintenance facility under construction
Construction on the commuter rail maintenance facility

Photo taken underneath Peña Boulevard Bridge
Peña Boulevard Bridge

  • Testing begins on East Rail Line, Northwest Rail Line and Gold Line
  • Construction on East Rail Line is complete
  • All commuter rail cars delivered to Denver
Rendering of the 40th and Airport Gateway Park Station
Rendering of the 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd. • Gateway Park Station

Rendering of the Arvada Ridge Station
Rendering of the Arvada Ridge Station

  • East Rail Line, first segment of Northwest Rail Line and Gold Line open for revenue service

Photo showing the front of the commuter rail car
Commuter rail, coming in 2016!


Positive Train Control makes for safe ride

Photo of commuter rail car running in testing
All of the RTD commuter rail vehicles will be equipped with
Positive Train Control (PTC) technology.

RTD's new commuter rail vehicles will be equipped with Positive Train Control (PTC), the most advanced rail safety technology available, when they start running on the three Eagle Project rail lines in 2016.

Required by the Railroad Safety Act of 2008, the PTC system monitors train operations and automatically prevents unsafe train movements.

PTC relies on a communication chain among the vehicle, trackside equipment and a computer server at the Operations and Control Center, based at the commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF) in Globeville.

Photo of positive train control panel in operator cab of rail <br />vehicle
The PTC system is a measure to keep system riders safe.

With PTC, trains can automatically be slowed or stopped in unsafe situations, such as approaching a curve too fast or nearing a segment where another train already is operating. PTC systems also provide added safety features to protect track workers from approaching trains and enforce temporary speed restrictions. And it is fail-safe - if any part of the communications chain fails, the trains are forced to stop.

PTC works by way of computers in the control center, communicating with other computers that are aboard the trains and at fixed locations along the tracks. Those remote computers provide data to the CRMF server to create a real-time picture for what is occurring at all points in the passenger rail system.

The PTC system ensures the operator does not exceed train speeds for the track geometry, and preserves appropriate minimum distances between trains.

Additionally, train control systems will inform the on-board PTC systems if a rail in the network becomes severed. The system has the ability to force the trains to stop, keeping passengers safe. The trains are also equipped with Automatic Train Control, a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, adding an extra layer of safety.

RTD's Eagle Project is the first rail system in the United States designed and constructed from the ground up with this advanced system in place for opening day. With PTC on board, passengers can be assured they are protected by leading edge rail safety technology.


Eagle P3 Project gives $710 million boost to local

Through December 2013, the Eagle P3 Project has added more than $710 million dollars to the Colorado economy.

RTD's contractor for the project, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), has paid out $90 million in wages, $320 million for equipment, services and supplies, and $300 million to subcontractors.

The project includes 1,250 employees hired directly by DTP or its many subcontractors, for a total of 3,775 employee-years worked on the project since it started in 2010.

Additionally, DTP has subcontracted to more than 610 firms that employ workers and purchase supplies from local distributors.

"The impact the Eagle P3 Project provides is considerable and includes a variety of innovative programs and contracting strategies designed to grow the local community's participation," said Greg Amparano, DTP's Executive Project Director. "The innovative public-private partnership approach to the Eagle P3 Project will be a model for future similar projects, while benefiting this area by providing local jobs and local business for local people."


First section of track installed on the Gold Line

Photo of Gold Line track installation on Ridge Road at Tabor Street

The first section of track was installed on the Gold Line near Ridge Road and Tabor Street. While construction of the Gold Line is underway, the
Gold Line tracks will be used by the freight railroad in order to allow
for shifting of the freight lines.

The first Gold Line track is down, with installation of steel rail starting in the fall of 2013, just east of the Wheat Ridge • Ward Station. From the station, rail crews continue working their way east toward Olde Town Arvada.

As track installation continues, other infrastructure improvements appear as well. Workers are reconstructing railroad crossings, installing new signals and realigning the roadways. These improvements can be seen at the Ridge Road and Tabor Street railroad crossing in Wheat Ridge, and the crossings at Ridge Road/Reno Drive and Carr Street in Arvada.

With the BNSF Railway freight track roughly in the center of the railroad right-of-way, there isn't room for the two Gold Line tracks to the north without first moving the freight track to the south. For that reason, track work in this first segment is focused on installing the westbound Gold Line track, which is the farthest north, and using that new track as a temporary bypass for BNSF freight trains, which must remain in operation throughout construction. After this rail detour is in place, crews will shift the existing freight track southward and when that is finished, BNSF will move back onto it.

The Gold Line will run on new tracks within the existing rail alignment from just west of the Pecos Junction Station, at Pecos Street and 62nd Parkway, to the Wheat Ridge • Ward Station, at Ward Road and 50th Avenue. The commuter rail tracks are the same width as freight tracks, but the passenger trains will have their own dedicated tracks.

The BNSF route from Denver to Golden sometimes has been called the Beer Line because it serves the Coors brewery. Until now, this freight track has been used as a landmark to show the location of the Gold Line. But now, with RTD's tracks going down following many years of planning, the actual location of this commuter rail line is rapidly becoming visible.


Project Progress Photos

Photo of Interstate 70 bridge in construction on December 17 2013
I-70 Flyover construction-Dec. 17, 2013

Photo of worker installing overhead wire along 78th Avenue on December 17 2013
Overhead wire installation along 78th Avenue-Dec. 17, 2013

Photo of rail installation at 78th Avenue on December 17 2013
Rail installation along 78th Avenue-Dec. 17, 2013

Photo of construction of Ralston Creek brudge on the Gold Line on December 17 2013
Bridge construction over Ralston Creek in Arvada -- Dec. 17, 2013

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