By Jamie Leary
ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – RTD has reached out the the Federal Railroad Administration and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission asking for a permanent waiver to operate the A Line and B Line free from testing and strict regulations. They said in their request last Friday that the new technology, which was causing problems at its crossing gates, is now working.
“We haven’t had issues for a long time on this and so they’re coming in and (saying) ‘Okay this is the first system of its kind in the U.S., so what are the regulations? What should they be? Because it’s going to be precedent setting for the rest of the U.S.,” said Nate Currey, spokesman for RTD.
The opening of the highly anticipated G Line, connecting Denver to Arvada and Wheat Ridge with commuter rail, is contingent upon the progress of the A Line. State regulators will need to test all 12 of the A Line crossing gates before RTD can turn its attention to the G Line.
“With the state, we have actually submitted the first three crossings so far with them so they’re out testing them right now and the commissioners will actually give us a ruling on it late this month or early October, so that’s significant progress,” said Currey.
There are a total of 12 crossing gates the PUC has to inspect. There are not enough resources to inspect all at once so it’s being done three at a time, which takes about a month and a half. Once this is complete and the permanent waiver is in place, RTD will begin daily testing of the G Line.
“We know that it’s going to make Olde Town Arvada (more vibrant) and to have that connection with Wheat Ridge and unincorporated Adams County, it’s going to change the whole corridor. We’re excited to facilitate that and it’s just a little bit longer (to wait),” said Currey.
Currey said he’s confident the G Line will be carrying passengers in 2018. He expects to have more specific answers on the A, B and G lines when RTD talks with regulators over the next two weeks.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.