Touring RTD / DTP’s New Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility

Back in early 2015, when RTD’s A, B, and G commuter rail lines were still under construction, Dave Schaaf managed to get the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club a tour of the Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility – the maintenance and administrative hub of the new system. The only catch was we could only do it during the week, so on Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015, I blew off an afternoon of work to go see a brand new railroad maintenance shop under construction.

RTD’s initial commuter rail system was built as a public/private partnership. Denver Transit Partners was a company started by a a host of other companies to design, finance, build, and then operate the new electrified commuter rail system. (Commuter rail being full FRA-compliant electric multiple unit cars, as opposed to the light rail system that RTD operates directly.) The system initially consisted of the airport (A) line, the B line to Westminster, and the G line to Wheat Ridge, as well as a central Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility to be located along the B/G mains just to the east of the former Rio Grande (now UP) North Yard.

In January 2015, the system was still coming together. The A line had been completed and the new Hyundai-Rotem Silverliner V cars were starting to arrive in Denver. The CRMF was largely done as a building, but was still being fitted. The dispatching center, located upstairs, was still very much a work in progress, with contractors actively configuring and coding the system while we were touring. Contractors outside were still building catenary, and contractors inside were installing large fixed equipment, such as the car lifts. The first test trains would operate only three months after our tour, so the sense of urgency was very much in the air.

There’s not much else to say that’s not better said in pictures.

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