East Rail Line Progress – Introduction

By Robert Wilson

2013 will be a busy year for RTD’s East Rail Line. Since the ground breaking earlier this year, East Rail Line construction has hit the ground running – design details are being finalized and ground has been broken on the future railway. The 22.8-mile corridor will be an essential link between the heart of urban Denver – Denver Union Station – and Denver’s gateway to the rest of the world – Denver International Airport. The line is expected to open in 2016; however, the bulk of the actual transit related construction is slated to occur in 2013 and 2014.

As construction progresses, I will bring updates on both the stations and the rest of the corridor between stations. Although the East Rail Line is primarily a transit connection between Denver Union Station and DIA, there will be a multitude of other transformations that will occur both directly and indirectly as a result of this project. Starting from Denver Union Station, riders will pass through very different and progressively less urban areas until they reach the airport. The designs, intentions, and processes will be very different in each of these segments.

Station by station and segment by segment, if there are specific areas or details you would like to see more updates on, feel free to leave comments in the comment section and I will be sure to follow up. On Monday, I will provide our first update on the most urban segment of track between Denver Union Station and the station in RiNo at 38th and Blake Streets. Check back over the course of the week as I will post an update about each of seven segments that will make up the East Rail Line. In the mean time, here’s a great interactive map and a more detailed flyover from RTD to help familiarize you with the exact route and different aspects of the East Rail Line project.

Robert Wilson is a Denver resident, transit enthusiast, community servant, as well as a planning and real estate professional. He graduated the University of Colorado in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and has since worked for Northeast Denver Housing Center. Over the years he has worked in public, private and public non-profit planning agencies in the fields of environmental justice, geographic information science, real estate development, infill redevelopment and construction management. At DenverUrbanism.com, Robert will be providing updates on the East Line developments as well as other significant developments in the Northeast side of our city. 

By | 2012-11-30T09:51:57+00:00 November 30, 2012|Categories: Infrastructure, Transit, Transportation|Tags: |4 Comments


  1. Dave November 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if our baggage could be transferred directly from the plane to the train? Dealing with luggage is the primary reason why most people insist on taking a taxi from the airport rather than bus or train, but if you could leave the airport without the hassle of baggage claim that be a huge improvement.

    • James December 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

      That would be rather awesome and I agree it would help with ridership, but I think the fact the train drops you off literally in the terminal and not a few blocks away is close enough. Ill definitely be taking it! I just wish they could build it faster… 🙂

    • Larry December 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      I read recently that a deal is being discussed as part of the Union Station remodel. It is of course, nothing but rumor. I took advantage of a similar service in Tokyo a few years ago which was quite nice. Since then I learned to pack much lighter and just bring my bags to the airport. But, when that’s not an option, the service is pretty handy.

  2. Scott December 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    The location of our old shop was on the route of the East line, our new shop is a mere 125 ft +/- from the Union Pacific Main line along Smith Road. It has been interesting and frustrating watching the underground utility work being done along Smith Road from Colorado Blvd to Quebec, as well as 40th from Blake to York. The buildings coming down, the staging of new rails and ties. I will have a birds eye view of the East Line Construction along Smith Road from our loading docks at 4200 Kearney. A great opportunity for all Metro residents now that the West Line is almost complete an the Gold Line is well underway as well.

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