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3/22/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

FasTracks committee sides with RTD staff on Northwest Rail Line implementation plan


Yesterday, the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) FasTracks Monitoring Committee endorsed the agency staff’s recommendation on how to proceed with the Northwest Rail Line now that cost estimates for the commuter-rail corridor have skyrocketed.

RTD officials are proposing to build the line incrementally, phasing in commuter-rail service to Church Ranch Boulevard in Westminster by 2022 but implementing bus rapid transit service along the corridor by 2020. That way, the Denver agency could meet the mobility needs of residents in the Northwest area in the short term while rail is built as funding becomes available, RTD officials said in a prepared statement.

The first phase of the Northwest Rail Line from Denver Union Station to south Westminster is being built as part of the FasTracks program’s Eagle P3 project. The 6.2-mile segment is scheduled to be complete in 2016. The six-mile segment from south Westminster to Church Ranch Boulevard would be funded through a new 0.4 percent sales tax, provided voters approve RTD’s sales tax measure that’s slated for the November ballot. Between the two segments, RTD would complete 12 of the 41 miles of the Northwest Rail Line by 2022.

The board is expected to make a final decision on the proposal at its March 27 meeting.

The entire Northwest Rail Line eventually will connect Denver Union Station with Longmont, passing through North Denver, Adams County, Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville and Boulder.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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