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Question of the Month

August 2015

Question: What is a caisson?

Answer: A caisson is a structural column foundation that is typically two feet or more in diameter. A round hole is dug, or bored, to a stable layer of earth and temporarily supported by a steel shell, then filled with concrete poured around a cage of reinforcing bars. They are generally used to hold up structures, like buildings or bridges.

September 2015

Question: Is the North Metro line commuter rail or light rail?

Answer: The North Metro Line will be served by commuter rail transit (CRT), not light rail transit (LRT) as we are used to seeing on other rail lines in the Denver metro area. Commuter rail is new to the region and will be introduced to the public for the first time when the A Line to DIA, the G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge and the B Line to Westminster open in 2016. In 2005, the federal government passed regulations that require all passenger rail lines adjacent to freight rail to be commuter rail, as opposed to light rail. Commuter rail vehicles are more sturdily built and have more seats than a light rail train. Generally, there are greater distances between stations due to the heavier vehicle because it take longer to stop and start than light rail. The boarding at the stations is also different. For commuter rail, all passengers will access the station platform which sits about four feet above the trackway, either via stairs or ramps. Then the boarding from the platform is level with the floor of the train. There aren't any steps to walk up on the train, and wheelchairs and strollers can easily roll into any door of the train. Commuter rail is also able to travel at faster speeds. Both commuter rail and light rail in the metro area are powered by overhead electricity, commuter rail runs on 25KV AC power and light rail runs on 740v DC power. For more information visit the website.

October 2015

Question: I know that the Thornton Crossroads - 104th Station has a parking garage, so it will probably take longer to build. So will Northglenn - 112th Station open before the Thornton Crossroads - 104th Station?

Answer: As station build out comes to fruition, stations often look complete and ready for service for transit riders. However, not many realize that although the project may look complete, testing of trains, crossing gates, and other signals are critical in opening the line-similar to what we see happening on the East Line out to the airport. All six funded stations, from Denver Union Station to Eastlake - 124th Station, on the North Metro Rail Line will open to the public at the same time in 2018-three short years. Hang in there!

November 2015

Question: What is the access to the 112th Avenue station?

Answer: There currently aren't any sidewalks along York Street, will RTD be adding those? RTD is responsible for building transit lines, stations and parking. In addition, at the 112th Station RTD will be adding a trail along the east side of the trackway from 112th Avenue to the station. This area is interesting due to the fact that the City of Northglenn and the City of Thornton both border the intersection of York and 112th Avenue. The adjacent cities are responsible for oversite of future development in the area which may require sidewalks and other infrastructure.

December 2015

Question: I currently use RTD on U.S.36 and recently learned my bus route and schedule will be changing because of the new Flatiron Flyer. How can I find out more information?

Answer: The Flatiron flyer is a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service that will begin service on January 3, 2016. This new service will feature branded buses, six new routes, and faster, more frequent service. Check out the Flatiron Flyer website, which has information on all routes. In addition to the website, you can come out and ride the Flatiron Flyer for FREE on Monday, January 4, 2016. There will be light refreshments, giveaways, an ice sculpture contest and RTD ambassadors who will be on site to help you navigate the new service, provide information, and answer questions.

January 2016

Question: What's happening with the extension of the North Metro Line to Highway 7? 

: RTD is committed to the completion of the North Metro Rail line to Highway 7 as soon as funds are available. Currently, only the portion of the North Metro Rail Line between Union Station and Eastlake-124th Station is funded and under construction. When the design-build contract was awarded to Regional Rail Partners (RRP) in December 2013, there was an option in the contract to extend the project from 124th Avenue to Highway 7 for a fixed price if the decision was made by December 2015. RTD determined that funding would not be available in time to exercise this option and asked RRP to quote a price to extend the option for an additional year, to December 2016. RTD has received those prices and continues to work with stakeholders and the RTD Board and staff to identify the necessary funding to finish the North Metro Rail Line. The North Metro team will keep you abreast of future updates.

February 2016

Question: Does RTD plan to remove the historic Grain Elevator at 124th and Claude Court, next to the tracks?

Answer: Neither RTD nor the City of Thornton have any current plans to remove the historic grain elevator at 124th. The future Eastlake-124th station will be located to the south of the grain elevator, with parking adjacent to the station on the west side of the tracks. Claude Court will be moved further west of the station to allow for more parking at the station. See the future station layout. There have been some minor changes since this drawing was done, but the grain elevator will still be located directly to the north of the parking area. 

March 2016

Question: When will the N line officially open to the public?

Answer: For now, the opening date is 2018. Approximately six months in advance, an
actual opening date will be set. Prior to the date being set, the contractor needs to
complete construction and then test each of the individual rail elements separately, and
then make sure they all work together. This includes the signals, the crossing gates,
the electrical systems, the security systems and so much more. Once the train, track
and systems are all tested, then the train operations are trained along this specific

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