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Denver Light Rail

Adventurers in the Rockies

Chapter Twenty

Denver Light Rail

July 20, 2016

Wednesday

by

Robin Bowers


Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.


Comments are appreciated at...yr.mmxx@gmail.com


 

    Again it was breakfast at the motel today and then a walk over to the Holiday Inn to queue up for the buses to take us to  Denver and ride their light rail. The bus went through the different and diversified neighborhoods of this metropolis to downtown Union Station. At Union Station the bus took us to the underground bus plaza. It was a short walk to the station and board our waiting train.

3909t

Ticket to board.

4084.

Train platform at Union Station.

map

Light rail

    RTD's first light rail line, a 5.3-mile section of what is now the D Line, opened on Friday, October 7, 1994. It operated with free service for that half day and the first weekend, with revenue service starting on October 10. It was estimated that more than 200,000 passengers rode the new system during its two-and-a-half day opening weekend, when the fleet comprised only 11 Siemens SD-100 rail cars.

    Since that time, several additional light rail lines have been opened. An 8.7-mile southwest extension to Mineral Avenue in Littleton opened in July 2000, and the 1.8-mile Platte Valley extension to Denver Union Station opened in April 2002. An additional 19-mile Southeast Corridor extension along I-25 to Lone Tree and a branch along I-225 to Parker Road were completed in November 2006 as part of Denver's T-REX project.

    As of April 2013, the system had 170 light rail vehicles, serving 47 miles of track.

Primary services

    The primary RTD services are scheduled bus and light rail routes. Light rail is divided in four zones: A, B, C, & D. Local service is service within two zones, express service is within three zones, and regional service is within four zones.

The current light rail lines are:
C Line: Littleton/Mineral to Union Station
D Line: Littleton/Mineral to 30th/Downing
E Line: Lincoln to Union Station
F Line: Lincoln to 18th/California & 18th/Stout
H Line: Nine Mile to 18th/California & 18th/Stout
W Line: Denver Union Station to Jeffco Government Center



4085

Conventioneers and others waiting to start their ride.
The W line will be our first to travel from Union Station to Jefferson County Government Center- Golden.

4079

We will leave the station from here.

4080

Control center.

4081


4088


4090

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League.

4091

Shot through a wrapped window.

4093

Art work at Garrison station.

4094


4095

Denver skyline.

4099

The end of the line for this trip at the Jefferson County Government Center-Golden station.

4101

Here passengers were given a photo opportunity as well as a restroom break.

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4100

This wrapped car, 276, will be our next ride. A photographers' delight, courtesy of RTD executives to which we all gave high praise and thanks.

4108

After a short rest we then headed back east down the W line to Auraria West where we would switch to the D line, also known as the Southwest Line.

4109


4110


4114


4112

Garrison St crossing.

4115


4116


4117


4120


4121

This station has connection to the E, F, R and H Lines plus the C and D lines.

4122

The Denver Light Rail shops between Evans and Englewood stations.

4124

My family lived in Inglewood CA for a time.

4127


4128

Overpass at the Littleton-Mineral station.

4131

End of line (or the beginning)  for the C and D lines. Here we had another photo opportunity and restroom stop.

4133

Station location at Santa Fe and Mineral Ave.

4135

This is the tail track to a layover yard south of the station.

4138

The Joint Line runs along the tracks of the station so we had the occasion to see a few BNSF freights.

4139

Coal empties heading north to Powder River.

4140


4143

Once the conventioneers' trolley arrived, we re-boarded and headed north to Denver. At the I-25-Broadway station we took the crossover to E Line which runs beside I-25.

4145

Art work on sound wall along highway I-25.

4148


4150

The final station on E Line. The train operator took us past the end of the station so we all got more rare milage.

     It was announced that due to time constraints and a gas leak in downtown Denver, we would not do the H Line to Nine Mile Station. A big disappointment to everyone on this trip. So now we will proceed to Union Station, Denver for lunch followed by our ride on the A Line to the Denver Airport.

4155

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park.

4159

Entrance way  to Union Station.

4160


4162

     Historic Boutique Hotel located in the spectacularly restored Union Station, Denver's historic train station, this hotel shares its lobby with restaurants, shops and rail travelers.

4163

Lobby with large windows that face the car or street side of station.

4164

BAR

4165

Street side of station.

4166


4168

Outdoor dining in front of the station.

4171

My view as I was eating my lunch of bratwurst and a drink. After which I returned through the waiting room to the tracks for the A Line train.

4175

These windows face the train tracks. I made a little detour to the side wing to look at some of the little specialty shops there including a bookstore and deli.

4177


4178


4179


4180


4181

Our special A train to the airport.

4182

Inside car with conventioneers.

4183


4185

At rest in Union Station.

4188

Coors Field

4191

Home of the Colorado Rockies major league baseball team.

4192



4193


4194

Our first stop here at 38-Blake station.

4196


4197

Our second stop here.

4198

Nice message board announcing next stop.

4199


4200

Our third station stop.

4201

On approach to airport station.

4202


4204

Platform at Denver Airport.

4206

  The Westin Denver International Airport above tracks.

4211


4212


4213

Everyone left the train and scattered to the four winds but the majority took the escalator up to the terminal level.
 
4214


4220

Inside Denver International Airport.

4217


4218


4219


4224


4225

Walkway between the airport terminal and the Westin Hotel.

4226

Hotel Lobby above.

4228


4229


4233


4236


4237

Restaurant

4238


4239


4240


4241

  Escalator down to A-Line train platforms.

4242


4244

Our train in the station is ready to depart. We all boarded for the return ride to Central Park Station.


4245

As our train leaves the airport for downtown Denver.

4200


Central Park Station.

 Exiting here, we boarded buses that were waiting to take us back to the Holiday Inn. Then from there is was a short walk back to my motel, then dinner and then I called it a night.

Thanks for reading.

Coming next- Chapter Twenty one - Georgetown Loop, Colorado Railroad Museum


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Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments appreciated at .... yr.mmxx@gmail.com