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RTD Commuter Rail Line To DIA On Schedule, Budget

Peña Boulevard 'triple-stack.' Seen from the south, the new commuter train will come from the left foreground and curve down the hill into the underpass, emerging at the DIA station."

The Regional Transportation District's 22 mile commuter rail line to Denver International Airport is on schedule and on budget.

That’s according to RTD Spokesman Kevin Flynn.

Part of the $2.1 billion Eagle P3 Project, The commuter rail line will one day take passengers from DIA to Denver’s Union Station.  Flynn says things are going well on all three Eagle segments.

“We anticipate opening all three Eagle P3 Project rail lines in 2016, sequentially starting first with the East Rail Line to the airport, followed by the Northwest Rail segment to Westminster, and finally the Gold Line to Arvada-Wheat Ridge. The openings will be staggered by a month or two. Exact opening dates won’t be selected until about a year out.”

RTD has purchased 50 commuter rail cars for the line. The first four are test cars. These are being fully assembled in South Korea for testing purposes. They will then be taken apart and shipped to a plant in Philadelphia for reassembly. Flynn says the remaining 46 cars will be fully assembled in Philadelphia with steel ‘shells’ fabricated in South Korea.

Bridge Over Peña Blvd Taking Shape

Credit Flickr/RTD
RTD set girders on the bridge over Peña Boulevard at DIA in October 2012.

If you have been to DIA in the past month, it’s hard to miss the large rail bridge being constructed over Peña Blvd.  The original bridge design by Santiago Calatrava was scrapped due to budget constraints; however, RTD officials say when completed, the rail bridge will still be significant.

There will be a total of 32 rail bridges constructed for the project. As of now, 16 are under construction.

Flynn adds that RTD has taken delivery of all the steel rail for the East Rail Line which was produced at a mill in Pueblo.

“It has been welded into 1,200 and 1,600-foot strings at two yards along the project, one at Sand Creek near Stapleton and the other south of 56th Avenue along Peña Boulevard. We’ve taken the first of three deliveries of the rail for the Gold Line/Northwest Rail and have begun to weld it at 48th and Fox Yard, the site of the Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility.”

East Rail Line Flyover


That's A Lot Of Dirt
The historic RTD public/private partnership P3 Project has excavated and hauled enough dirt to fill a line of dump trucks on Interstate 25 from Raton Pass on the New Mexico border to Owl Canyon at the Wyoming state line.

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