Denver’s East Corridor Rail Line: Colorado’s Airport Train to Leave Crenshaw-to-Near-LAX Project in its Prairie Dust
A half-mile from the front entrance of Denver International Airport, two prairie dogs popped up from their dusty burrows. They saw concrete ties, rails, and construction equipment for the East Corridor Rail Line, a commuter train project that will provide a one-seat ride from Denver’s Union Station directly into the airport. “We’re building a basic, meat-and-potatoes rail line—with 15 minute headways so people get from the airport to downtown fast,” explained Kevin Flynn, a spokesman for Denver RTD. “The train will use standard equipment. It’ll include level-boarding platforms to minimize station dwell time.
The multi-billion project is part of Denver’s “FasTracks” initiative, a sales tax imposed by voters in 2004. It is similar to Los Angeles’s 2008 “Measure R.” But unlike Measure R, FasTracks is entirely for public transportation expansion. All told, Denver, which has roughly one-fifth the population of Los Angeles, will build 122 miles of new train line. Los Angeles is building about 90 miles of new track.
Trains will take about 30 minutes from downtown Denver to the airport, with seven stops, at speeds near 80 mph—25 mph faster than Light Rail. Because the line will use standard, mainline equipment, there’s nothing to stop a future direct-to-the-airport Boulder service, or even a ski-train, from sharing the airport station, although Flynn said “we’re not currently planning that.” Read more…