1:06pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Transportation

RTD Tests New West Line To Golden

A historic first occurred Thursday for the highly anticipated West Rail Line that will connect Golden to Denver. RTD ran the first ‘test train’ the length of the line with power from the overhead electrical lines.

It was the start of ‘integrated testing’ along the 12.1 mile corridor of grade crossings and systems. The West Line starts at the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver and runs through Lakewood ultimately ending in Golden. After the initial trial run, the train will stop at all rail crossings for additional tests. That should take one or two days per crossing.

Route map of RTD's new West line.
Credit RTD

Jim Sterling, RTD’s West Rail Line project manager, says the project is eight months ahead of the original completion date and on budget. The West Rail Line was the first FasTracks project to start full construction in 2009.

“Our contractors worked extremely well in getting the work completed. We had great relationships with our stakeholders the cities the Colorado Department of Transportation. So those great relationships allowed us to get the work completed,” said Sterling.

As testing continues, more activity will be seen as RTD operations train for the new route and schedules are tested. Anxious commuters will have to wait; the grand opening of the new line isn’t until April 26th. There will be ribbon cutting ceremonies all along the corridor that day and rides on the new trains will be free that afternoon.

Cities along the corridor will also celebrate the opening of the new line with multiple ‘station parties’ on April 27th which will be free and open to the public. A ceremony lighting the RTD bridge over 6th avenue at the Federal Center will take place on January 26th.