The RTD FasTracks West Corridor project team recently installed the final segment of track on the West Rail Line. Crews working just west of the Union Boulevard Tunnel completed the task of fully tying in the track for the whole rail line from Denver Union Station to the Jefferson County Government Center.
The West Rail Line encompasses more than 116,000 lin. ft of track. Using effective and cost efficient construction methods and state-of-the-art equipment, the 45-member crew successfully completed the track installation in an unprecedented 18 months.
Shortly after laying the final track, RTD performed initial clearance testing on the West Rail Line, as a light rail vehicle was pulled on the westbound tracks beginning just south of the newly relocated Auraria West Station and ending at the Federal Center Station.
West Rail Line Project Manager Jim Starling said the testing went smoothly and faster than initially anticipated.
Clearance testing continued on March 23, beginning at the Federal Center Station and traveling the remaining track to the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden. The initial test was executed to confirm clearances between the vehicle and surrounding elements of the rail line including bridges, tunnels, sound walls and fencing, through the stations and by all the poles along the alignment. The light rail vehicle was pulled by another piece of equipment and traveled at a walking speed of 1-2 mph. Additional operation testing will continue intermittently until the West Rail Line opens in May 2013.
The 12.1-mile West Rail Line was the first rail line of RTD’s FasTracks project to start construction and will be the first to open to the public in spring 2013. The West Rail Line will operate between Denver Union Station in downtown Denver and the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden, serving Denver, Lakewood, the Denver Federal Center, Golden and Jefferson County.
FasTracks is RTD’s voter-approved transit program to expand rail and bus service throughout the RTD service area. FasTracks will build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District. The FasTracks investment initiative will create more than 10,000 jobs during the height of construction and pump billions of dollars into the regional economy.