Back in summer, RTD realized that the system that powers the A and B Lines could use a little more work. The pantographs, those elbows from the train, and the corresponding overhead wires weren’t quite right.
“It’s supposed to maintain a constant tension, but it does shrink in the cold and expand in the heat, so it can require adjustments to keep it at the optimum level,” said Scott Reed, RTD’s assistant general manager of communications.
“We didn’t know if [adjustments] were going to be needed,” Reed said. “It’s not a big surprise. There’s no way to duplicate the direct effects until you get it to that cold weather spell.”
The work spanning more than 50 miles of track should be completed in January 2017, and 70 percent of the adjustments are already completed.
While the work has “dramatically reduced the likelihood of power-related service delays,” and reduced wear on the overhead lines, it’s more of an attempt to minimize disruptions than an improvement to on-time performances.
“We’ve always had adjustments to our new rail lines that need to be administered in the first year of operation and this no exception,” Reed said.
If you’re worried about the work slowing you down in the meantime, it will only affect those traveling very late and very early in the morning. (All work will be done between 11:30 p.m. and 4:15 a.m.)
RTD says that there will be minor delays during those periods, and that passengers may be asked to board a bus shuttle in some instances.