G Line gets a little closer to actually transporting people

RTD just got some key approvals from the FRA.

RTD tests trains on the soon-to-open G Line in Arvada, Sept. 4, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

RTD tests trains on the soon-to-open G Line in Arvada, Sept. 4, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The rail line from downtown Denver to Arvada and Wheat Ridge is two important stops closer to being open for service.

RTD received two key approvals from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Wednesday, according to a press release from the transit agency.

The feds gave G Line a “long-term waiver.” In English that means the line will be able to operate, even though it may not meet all of FRA’s technical standards. The A and B lines operate under the same waiver.

Federal regulators also gave a thumbs-up to the “revenue service demonstration” of the G Line. In English, that means RTD just inched closer to a certification for its “positive train control” system. That’s the youngish tech that has marred the agency’s plan to open its commuter rail lines on time.

“Today’s news represents huge milestones, and I credit all of the collaborative work with our partners that has made it possible,” RTD CEO and General Manager Dave Genova said in a statement. “We remain committed to meeting the requirements of our regulators and will continue working closely with them, as well as keeping the public involved at every turn.”

There are still several stops on this journey at the federal and state level, the release says, and RTD is still working on implementing quiet zones along the 11.2-mile line. Crossing attendants are still required while RTD and Denver Transit Partners work out the crossing issues.

There’s still no opening date for the G Line, which was supposed to open in 2016.

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