Test Trains Will Roll on RTD’s SE Rail Extension

Test trains will soon be rolling on RTD’s Southeast rail extension.

The Southeast Rail Extension project continues to make steady progress toward completion in the second quarter of 2019. Bridges, walls and the RidgeGate parking garage are now substantially complete.

Work on relay houses, signals and conduit is underway throughout the line, and project elements such as plazas, canopies, stone features and commissioned public art are taking shape at all three stations.

Rail is in place connecting the line from Lincoln Station on the north end to RidgeGate Station on the south, and all overhead wiring has been installed.

With most of the civil work complete, the project is scheduled to enter a new phase in late October in which light rail trains can be tested. Before opening the 2.3-mile extension of the E, F and R light rail lines for service, crews test all the elements of the rail system to verify that the construction produced a safe and reliable operating line.

This process, called integrated testing, evaluates technical and performance requirements for key elements of the line, including measuring track clearances, testing train signals and testing the electrical and communication systems.

Andy Mutz, RTD Project Manager for the Southeast Rail Extension, calls integration testing vitally important to project success. “This is the time we take to find – and fix – any potential issues,” he said.

Whether crews are performing construction work or testing rail systems, RTD’s safety message remains the same: Please pay attention and drive carefully through the area. Assume that all wires are electrified, and never stop on the tracks.