April 22, 2016

Denver airport rail link inaugurated

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THE first phase of Denver's Eagle PPP commuter rail project was completed on April 22, when Colorado state governor Mr John Hickenlooper, United States transportation secretary Mr Anthony Foxx, and the mayor of Denver Mr Michael Hancock inaugurated the 37.8km University of Colorado A Line from Union Station to Denver International Airport.

The double-track line which is electrified at 25kV 60Hz ac and includes seven new stations serving western districts of the city.

To celebrate the opening, Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) will offer free travel on April 22 and 23 across its entire rail network.

In addition to the A Line, the Eagle PPP includes the construction of the 18km G Line from Union Station to Ward Road in Wheat Ridge, the 9.7km B Line from Union Station to Westminster, and a new depot at Fox Street north of Union Station. The two remaining lines are due to open later this year.

The project is being implemented by PPP contractor Denver Transit Partners, a consortium of John Laing, Fluor, and Aberdeen Asset Management under a $US 2.2bn 34-year design-build-operate maintain concession awarded by RTD.

The project is being finaced with the aid of a $US 1.03bn Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration and $US 450m from the private sector. 

Services are operated by 125km/h Silverliner V EMU cars supplied by Hyundai-Rotem. Each 26m-long car accommodates up to 232 passengers, 91 of them seated, with two wheelchair spaces. The 125km/h vehicles are being assembled at the Hyundai Rotem USA plant in Philadelphia, using bodyshells fabricated in Korea.

Denver Eagle map

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