The Regional Transportation District’s long-delayed commuter rail line to Commerce City, Northglenn and Thornton now has an opening date of Sept. 21.
Originally scheduled to begin operation in 2018, the project broke ground in 2014 and is under the project management of Balfour Beatty Rail Infrastructure and Graham Contracting, who use the collective name of Regional Rail Partners. When RTD considered issuing a notice of default in February, the partnership said that delays were due to “circumstances outside of [its] control.”
“Our efforts to open this line have continued even during the pandemic,” interim general manager and CEO Paul Ballard said. “I am confident opening the new line will play a key role in encouraging local recovery and continued growth in the north metro suburbs.”
Unlike the other commuter rail lines, which a contractor operates, RTD will run the N Line directly. It will have six stations, including at the National Western Complex, with nearly 2,300 parking spaces in total. During the first six months of operation, RTD will offer a local fare over the entire 13-mile route. Traveling between Union Station and the initial terminus of Eastlake-124th Station will take a half hour.
The line is part of the FasTracks program that began with a voter-approved measure in 2004. RTD intends for the route to extend for 5.5 additional miles to the north when money becomes available.