DENVER (CBS4) – RTD is installing the first tracks on its rail line that will run from Denver International Airport to downtown Denver on Wednesday.

Laura Rinker with Denver Transit Partners said in an interview on the CBS4 Morning News that construction crews will be “pulling ties in, clipping ties, installing the rail.”

“There will be some welding and some all day action in terms of getting that rail installed today,” Rinker said.

Crews will be laying the tracks for the East Rail Line next to Pena Boulevard. They have already installed large poles that will power the commuter trains along Smith Road and Pena.

The route will start at Union Station, continue to 38th and Blake, 40th and Colorado, Central Park Boulevard near Stapleton, Peoria, Airport and 40th then DIA.

The steel and concrete rail ties are made from recycled materials made in Colorado. Workers must use very precise welding techniques on each rail to guard against weather extremes.

“All the track has to be placed at a certain temperature to prevent it from contracting or expanding and having it at a neutral temperature for the safety of passengers,” said Denver Transit Partners spokesman Mike Deblois. “If the rail was to expand too much we could end up with track buckles. If it gets too cold it’ll want to pull apart.”

This phase of the FasTracks project will last about four months.

The East Rail Line is projected to open for business in 2016.


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