Denver Regional Transportation District’s Central Rail Corridor Capacity Improvements

The Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) Central Corridor opened in 1994 as a demonstration line to test the viability of light rail in the Denver, Colorado, metro area. More than 20 years later, this relatively unchanged section, after corridor expansions, experiences more than 36,000 boardings each weekday, a peak-hour–peak-direction throughput of 4,600 passengers, and 20 trains per peak hour in each direction. With ridership continuing to rise, the RTD has taken steps to increase capacity with more planned. The first two options to increase capacity on the Central Corridor failed partly because of budget constraints experienced shortly after the passing of the voter-approved FasTracks referendum in 2004. Peak capacity has been expanded in recent years by extending consist lengths to four cars on trains in an effort to meet service standards. Creative scheduling and a planned addition of a pocket track on the downtown loop will help balance the ridership demand. With the above improvements, the existing system is meeting ridership demands and service standards on the strained original line. The current plan now being implemented will secure ridership capacity needed for new rail lines opening out of Denver’s Union Station in 2016, although the future beyond that is not secure. The future of the system relies on a proactive response to increased ridership demand. Without a significant amount of budget to put into physical improvements, an incremental approach has been applied and continues to move forward as a way to stay ahead of the curve.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps;
  • Pagination: pp 179-194
  • Monograph Title: 13th National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference: Transforming Urban Areas
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672567
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309450591
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 9 2018 10:11AM