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Video: Take a ride on R Line test train
RTD began systems integrated testing in July on the first segment of what will be known as the R Line in Aurora. With all of the track installed connecting the Aurora Line/I-225 Rail Line from end-to-end of its 10.5-mile-long route and nearly all overhead wiring in place, the project is entering a new phase where light rail trains can be tested on the line.
The systems integration process evaluates technical and performance requirements for key elements of the line, which include:
- Measuring track clearances
- Testing train signals
- Testing electrical and communication systems
As RTD Project Manager Chuck Culig explains, "Before we open the line for service, we test all the elements of the rail system to verify that the construction produced a safe and reliable operating rail line. This will include testing of the train and traffic equipment at all the crossings and intersections within the city of Aurora. Currently, we are only testing the segment that runs from Nine Mile Station to Exposition Avenue."
When Aurora residents see a train moving on the tracks, it's a positive sign that construction impacts from the project may finally be winding down. However, Culig says, even as we see fewer impacts, RTD is working hard to educate the public about the importance of being safe around buses and trains.
"Safety is RTD's number one priority and we have an excellent safety record that we want to maintain as we prepare to open the line at the end of the year," Culig said. "Whether we are performing construction work or testing rail systems, our safety message is the same-please pay attention and drive carefully through the area."
RTD offers these safety tips for drivers and pedestrians:
- Always follow posted detours through work zones
- Never stop on train tracks
- Be aware of new traffic signals, signs and gates that are being installed along the corridor
- Always assume that wires are live with electricity
The Aurora Line/I-225 Rail will open as the R Line in late 2016 and will travel through major activity centers in Aurora.
- Aurora Metro Center
- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
- Colorado Children's Hospital
- The new Veterans Administration Hospital campus