The long-awaited RTD N line—the first electrified commuter rail line that RTD will operate—is now officially open for passenger service. The new commuter rail line significantly improves mobility from the city’s northern suburbs to downtown Denver. Global architecture, engineering, and design firm, Stantec, provided project management, track design, structural design, site civil design, and drainage services on the $429 million project.
The N Line features six new stations and 2,480 new parking spaces for riders. The first 13 miles of the proposed 18.5-mile line will provide service from Union Station through Denver, Commerce City, Northglenn, and Thornton. The entire 18.5-mile N Line is part of RTD’s 2004 voter-approved FasTracks program to expand transit across the city. When the corridor is fully complete, it will include two additional stations, for a total of eight new stations. The remaining 5.5 miles will be constructed as funds become available. A trip between Union Station and Eastlake-124th Station, currently the last stop on the line, will take about 29 minutes.
The rail corridor features wireless positive train control (PTC) technology, a complex system that reduces the risk of potentially fatal accidents. RTD is the first transit agency in the US to build PTC technology into a new rail system from the ground up. The contractor was Regional Rail Partners, a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Graham Construction.
“The N Line will make a significant difference in the lives of Denver residents, safely reducing travel time across the city and greatly improving mobility,” said Jim Bader, a Stantec structural engineer based in Denver. “This year has presented unprecedented challenges, and it’s exciting to reach this milestone alongside RTD and Regional Rail Partners. We are proud to play a role in delivering the first 13 miles of the N Line.”