Gold Line Progress: Jersey Cutoff Construction

It’s not super sexy and it’s fairly remote, but here’s the first sign of construction for both the Gold Line and Northwest Electrified Segment (NWES)! The Jersey Cutoff bridge is a little known, but critical piece of both corridors. The bridge will allow Gold Line and NWES trains to travel up and over the Jersey Cutoff (approximate location seen in red in the map below) as the trains travel north. The bridge will drop the trains back down to ground level before they travel underneath I-70.

The folks at RTD describe the trek traveling from the 41st/Fox Station north towards the Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility (CRMF) as a “roller coaster” because the train travels up and over the freight tracks only to return to grade to travel beneath I-70 in about a 1/2 mile span.


It’s hard to get close up shots of the bridge construction right now, given it’s happening in no-man’s land. As the project progresses, I’ll try and track down some better photos showing more detailed pictures of its progress.

Just to the west of the tracks and south of 44th Avenue, crews are also working on expanding the electrical substation to help power the trains as well. The trains on both the Gold Line and NWES will be the same electric-multiple units (EMUs) as will run on the East Rail Line out to DIA. The power systems will resemble those we see on the current light rail system, but will require much more power. Therefore, an expansion of this substation was required.


You can see this construction from I-70 (look south) as you approach the Mousetrap from the west – just be careful if you’re going to take a look! In the next few months, we’ll start to see both of these corridors come alive with more construction activity!

By | 2012-08-28T11:10:57+00:00 August 28, 2012|Categories: Infrastructure, Transit|Tags: , , |5 Comments


  1. Jason August 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for the photos. I’ve been watching this go up and couldn’t figure out what they could possibly be going over. This finally cleared it up for me, showing the crossover and realignment of the freight tracks for the spur.

  2. Joe August 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Great to see some tangible progress. Thank you Ryan !

  3. Joe Burnham August 29, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I noticed this bit of construction going on yesterday and wondered what was happening there. Thanks for answering my question!

  4. Bob Wilson August 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Actually the electrical system is different. LRT uses 800 volts direct current (VDC). The EMUs use will use 25,000 volts alernating current (25 kVAC). This 25 kVAC is a more or less an international standard for commuter (heavy) rail in the US, Canada, Europe, and maybe elsewhere. Bob Wilson, retired electrical engineer.

    • Nathanael September 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Another interesting fact to know:

      The result of using high-voltage AC instead of lower-voltage DC is that the trains can have a lot *fewer* substations, but each *individual* substation has to be a lot bigger.

      So there will be some really big substations, but not nearly as many substations as for the LRT.

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