RTD aims to open G Line “when we are good and ready”

The G Line has the same problematic crossing arm technology as the A Line, and that has delayed the opening of rail service to Arvada.

RTD's G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge. (RTD)
RTD's G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge. (RTD)
RTD’s G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge. (RTD)

RTD has unveiled a parking garage and passenger rail platform built with the city of Arvada. A functioning train … well, not so much.

“G Line will open when we are good and ready. It’s a good question. We’re working hard to get it open this year,” said RTD spokesman Nate Currey during a tour of the new station.

Test trains on the line are showing “a lot of good information, and the line looks good,” he said. Still, RTD CEO Dave Genova acknowledged that it may be pushed to 2018.

When and if the G Line starts, it will be the reintroduction of passenger rail service to Arvada after an 80-year absence, Currey said.

The plaza near the new station is open, but the station area itself remains closed to the public. The station is near Vance and Grandview, just south of Olde Town.

Bus service to Denver will continue to run from the old park-and-ride lot until the new line is open. (That’s just east of the new station.)

With the opening of the new parking deck, Arvada will be able to move forward with the planned redevelopment of the existing park-and-ride lot. The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority agreed to sell the lot to developer Trammell Crow for $30 (yes, $30) for use as a six-story market-rate apartment complex.

The delays are happening because the road-rail crossings on the G Line share the same problematic technology as the A Line. RTD officials have said that the automated software can’t properly time the opening and closing of crossing gates.

As a result, the gates come down too early and rise too late after the train has passed, which creates automobile traffic problems.

Denver Transit Partners, the private company that partially financed and operates the new train lines, has claimed that it can’t make any further improvements.

The ride will be about 20 minutes from Arvada to downtown and about 26 minutes from the end of the line on Ward Road to downtown.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.