RTD says two major light-rail segments will not open this year as originally planned

The R Line through Aurora between Parker Road and I-70 and the G Line through Wheat Ridge and Arvada from downtown Denver will not open this year.

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RTD trains in action!  denver; colorado; rtd; train; light rail; transit; transportation; kevinjbeaty; denverite

A light-rail train moves through downtown Denver. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The R Line through Aurora between Parker Road and I-70 and the G Line through Wheat Ridge and Arvada from downtown Denver will not open this year, RTD Board Chairman Tom Tobiassen told Denver Business Journal.

The two segments of light rail have long been expected to open by the end of 2016, but the A Line’s issues are causing delays for more than just passengers.

Tobiassen told Denver Business Journal that the Federal Railroad Administration won’t allow testing on the G Line until the problems are corrected on the A Line and B Line.

“All along, the weather’s been great, we’ve been doing well, and then there’s a hitch that slips us by a few weeks, and then it creeps,” he said.

The FRA recently gave RTD an extension to fix the faulty crossing gates, allowing the A Line to continue operating with staff at each crossing.

“We’d like to do testing on the G Line, but the FRA has said no to that, due to the need for the flaggers if we test on the G Line,” Tobiassen told DBJ. “Even if we got the [FRA’s] approval today, we have to go through 45 days of testing and approvals, we probably can’t shrink that.”

He also said that a computer circuit board on the R Line’s electronic systems doesn’t work properly, which means they need to get a replacement shipped from Switzerland that then needs to be installed and tested.

Back in August, RTD officials told the Aurora Sentinel the the R Line would not have any of the problems the A Line experienced.

It now looks like the R Line will open around mid-January.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the B Line. The light rail to Westminster is running.

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