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Rail News: Passenger Rail

RTD staff: Build Northwest rail line partway, postpone completion


On Monday, the Regional Transportation District of Denver’s staff (RTD) released their recommendation to build the Northwest corridor rail line “incrementally” from Denver to the Church Ranch station by 2022, then build the rest of the line to Longmont, Colo., as funding becomes available.

RTD staff recommended a plan to build about 12 miles of the 41-mile Northwest corridor, or 30 percent of what was initially planned, according to the proposal as posted on the agency’s website. Bus rapid transit, using dedicated lanes, would cover the remainder of the corridor to Longmont by 2020.

Staff members’ recommendation is a “hybrid” of three options under consideration by the RTD board in response to the project’s cost increasing from initial estimate of $894 million to $1.7 billion, according to the website posting. One of the three options the board will consider on March 20 is to replace the Northwest rail line entirely with bus rapid transit.

The Northwest rail corridor was approved by voters in 2004 as part of the FasTracks ballot measure to use a sales tax to build a rail transit system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/7/2012