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First RTD Commuter Rail Cars Arrive In Denver

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Regional Transportation District
The first of 66 new RTD commuter rail cars arrive in Denver.

The East Commuter Rail Line between Denver's Union Station and the Denver International Airport remains on schedule to open in 2016. The first four commuter cars that will travel the line have arrived in Colorado and are parked at Union Station in preparation for public tours.

The four cars are the first of their kind in the state, and are quite different than the light rail cars you're used to. They're heavier, can travel much faster, but still use overhead electrical lines for power said Kevin Flynn, RTD spokesman.

"So, these cars go faster and makes the trip [to DIA] in 35 minutes," stated Flynn.

They won't just be used on the commuter rail line to DIA. Flynn said multiple lines departing from Union Station every day will also use the cars.

"Track one is the airport train, track two we have another airport service, track three will be the north metro rail line that opens in 2018," Flynn said. "The Gold line all the way over on track eight, that's the train that goes to Arvada and Wheatridge and on track seven we have the Northwest rail to Westminster, so that's in 2016."

The commuter lines were designed and are being constructed by Denver Transit Partners a public, private partnership or P3 consortium. They'll also oversee daily operation as well. Spokeswoman Laura Rinker said each commuter car costs $4 million and were designed specifically for this project.

"We're really excited to have then in Denver, these are Denver's commuter rails cars they have been designed specific to public feedback, they have additional areas for skies for bikes, things people in the area really like to do," said Rinker. "We took a lot of design input from the public and customized the cars for the region."

The remaining 62 cars will continued to be delivered about every month for the next year. They'll each undergo rigorous testing on the line in anticipation for a 2016 opening.

The public will get a chance to tour the cars Dec. 3 through 6 at Denver's Union Station.

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