North Metro Corridor
Preferred Alternative Description
The following is a brief overview of the Preferred Alternative that is the culmination of the process that began in Sept. 2006 to develop and screen proposed alternatives; perform a detailed environmental evaluation of each alternative; and incorporate public and agency feedback.
The Preferred Alternative alignment generally follows the BNSF Brush Subdivision to UP Boulder Branch between DUS to just north of SH-7, a distance of approximately 18 miles. This is referred to as the BNSF/UP Boulder Alternative.
The southern terminus is at the DUS access point, also known as the "DUS throat" (at approximately 20th Street), and the northern terminus is just north of SH-7 in Thornton. The Preferred Alternative is located adjacent to and just east of the BNSF mainline (Brush Subdivision) in Denver. In Commerce City, the Preferred Alternative crosses over the BNSF mainline and is generally adjacent to the O'Brian Canal through private commercial and industrial parcels in what is referred to as the "Cross-County Area." (The Preferred Alternative follows what had been described in the DEIS as alignment option B-2 in the southern section.) The alignment connects with the UP Boulder Branch right-of-way (ROW) near West 70th Avenue. North of Commerce City, the Preferred Alternative remains within the UP Boulder Branch ROW, which was purchased by RTD in 2009.
The majority of the alignment is single-track, except for five areas with a passing track: from DUS to 38th Street; from South of 72nd Avenue to around 74th Avenue; from north of Thornton Parkway to just north of 104th Avenue; from south of 124th Avenue to before the York Street crossing; and from SH7 to the end of line,
approximately 162nd Avenue. The second track in these locations allows trains in two directions to pass without delay, thus maintaining the peak period service plan for 15 minute headways between DUS and SH 7/162nd Avenue station.
The preferred rail vehicle is the Electric Multiple Unit or EMU. This vehicle would be powered via an overhead contact system (OCS) similar to that provided for the
existing Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines. Facilities to distribute power to the trains, known as paralleling stations, would be provided at 2 to 4 locations along the project alignment, typically within station areas.
A mid-day layover track would be provided in the southern section near 31st Street. This facility would primarily be used to store trains between the weekday morning and afternoon peak periods, and for emergencies. It would not typically be used for
overnight storage or for maintenance. A tail track would be provided north of
the SH 7/162nd Avenue station to stage trains preparing to head south or
The trains will be maintained at the CRMF at the Fox North site on the Northwest Rail Corridor.
The following proposed stations are included in the Preferred Alternative: