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Archive of posts tagged East Rail Line

East Rail Line Progress: 38th/Blake Station

For those who haven’t been near the 38th/Blake Station area, there’s a TON of construction going on. Serving as the first station outside of downtown, the 38th/Blake Station looks to transform the eastern edge of the River North, Five Points, and Cole neighborhoods. For many, it’ll be a very welcome breath of fresh air into the neighborhood.

Crews have been hard at work on the platform structure, giving a clear indication as to how the coming commuter rail lines (East, Gold, North Metro, and Northwest) will be different that our current light rail network (Central, Southwest, Southeast, West, and I-225). The trains will have level boarding (yay!) meaning the platforms are much taller. Also, the platforms are longer to accommodate the beefier commuter rail vehicles. Other differences will become evident as construction nears completion over the next two years.

The platform is set and as you can see in the pictures below, the pattern is evident on the southern face. Nothing fancy, but it helps crack into the design monotony that can plague transit stations. The platform will also feature landscaping, canopies, and lighting (obviously much closer to completion in 2016).

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Crews are busy at work setting the pedestrian bridge that will span both the East Rail Line and the Union Pacific tracks. The platforms on both ends of the bridge are set and crews have recently returned to the site, most likely meaning that the structure will soon be set. The bridge will allow passengers to walk from the rail platform north to the future Park-n-Ride lot which will be located at 39th and Wynkoop Streets.

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The bridge across 38th Street was set last year (and covered in a previous blog post). This bridge will allow passengers coming off or heading to the pedestrian bridge can cross 38th Street to access the platform.

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The station has some examples of unsanctioned public art (otherwise known as graffiti). Crews are usually pretty good about getting these covered up relatively quickly, but some of this graffiti has been on display for quite a while.

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A gas regulator was relocated as part of the station construction. The old regulator was located closer to 38th Street and had to moved prior to station construction to allow work to continue.

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Lots of work on Blake Street remains as crews work to install utility hookups. The pedestrian/bicycle experience around this station should be dramatically improved once the corridor opens in 2016.

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Once the station opens and we are all tired of wandering around a revitalized neighborhood, we can all take a rest on Denver’s first transit-oriented swing, located at 36th and Blake.

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EAGLE Project Progress – Railcars!

Exciting news courtesy of our friends at RTD as they announce that the first 10 railcars which will run along the East, Gold, Northwest Electrified Segment, and North Metro Rail Lines have arrived at the Hyundai-Rotem plant in Philadelphia from South Korea. For more information on the cars (including why the shells were made in South Korea) check out our blog post from this past May.

  

For more information on the railcars, check out the Denver Transit Partners’ (DTP) website. DTP is RTD’s concessionaire for the EAGLE Project and will be the operator of all three EAGLE Project corridors once complete in 2016.

The cars will be fully completed in Philadelphia prior to being shipped to Denver sometime late next year for testing and eventual operation! This is a really exciting development as we await a new transportation mode choice throughout the Denver metro area!


East Rail Line Progress – Flood Damage and Tie Installation

Let’s take a look at the impacts of the recent flooding rains on the East Rail Line, which is at the height of construction.

 

Seems (very) minor? You’re right.

Luckily, RTD and construction managed to avoid any major flood damage. Besides some puddling and dirty vehicles, there was just some run off on sloped surfaces and sub-base in certain locations has to be replaced. The project managed to avoid the extremely damaging rains and subsequent flooding that hit just north of Denver. 

As you may notice in the pictures above, the concrete railroad ties are being installed along the alignment. These pictures were taken on the southern approach to the Peña Boulevard bridge. Each tie weighs about 660 lbs and there are tens of thousands of these ties along the project! The rail is attached to these ties, providing a secure base for our trains to travel on in about three years. 

   

The tractor below has an awesome attachment that allows it to pick up six ties at a time and put them in place – a HUGE time saver for construction crews. It’s a two-man operation, but it also helps explain why the ties are kept in piles as we see in the picture below.

 

For those traveling to and/or from DIA, please keep an eye out for construction crews (and cops). Crews are hard at work building both the East Rail Line and the new South Terminal Redevelopment Project. They’re out there busting their butts for us so we owe it to them to slow down a tad and keep them safe. It’ll also help you avoid a hefty speeding ticket!


EAGLE Project Progress – 50% Complete!

It may seem hard to believe, the $2 billion EAGLE Project is 50%  complete. RTD and its partners had a ceremony yesterday morning to mark the halfway point in the project which featuring multiple speakers, including US Representative Ed Perlmutter,  Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Arvada Mayor Marc Williams, Westminster Mayor Nancy McNally, Adams County Commissioner Eva Henry, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Regional Administrator Linda Gehrke, DTP Director Greg Amparano, and RTD GM Phil Washington.  

  

  

Every speaker spoke of the importance of regional cooperation and how integral the decades spent developing relationships and coordination directly lead to a regional take on a mega-project such as FasTracks. Combined with the relative brevity of everyone’s speeches, it was nice to see the representatives thanking each other and talking of how their respective jurisdictions have worked well together, and not just beating their own chests or tooting their own horns over their individual contributions to the project. 

  

The event was held just behind the Denver Police Department facility at Park Avenue and Globeville Road, site of the Gold Line and Northwest Electrified Segment’s approach into downtown Denver, prior to crossing the South Platte River bridge. As you can see in the pictures above, the skyline provided the perfect backdrop. 

Only three more (short) years until the project is complete!! 


DIA Construction Progress

Thanks to our friends over at RTD, we have some amazing pictures of the massive construction project that is the South Terminal Redevelopment Program (STRP)! Construction looks to be progressing well as the elevator shafts have topped out and crews are working on what looks to be about the 4th floor of the new building.

Click here to check out some of the great pictures. The hotel should be complete sometime in 2015 with rail service starting in 2016!