|Rail Volution Growing Rail Event
Rail Volution continues to grow in
attendance and prominence year by year. CEMT Co-founder Bob Bischoff and myself attended
the 2000 event in Denver, Colorado in October along with almost 15-hundred others from
Denver is now buying 12 additional light rail cars due to packed trains on it's new South corridor line which opened in June. The Regional Transit District is tying in with a San Diego order for low floor cars that will be compatible with the high floors cars the system already has.
The Central Platte Valley light rail line to Denver Union Station is expected to be in service by early 2002. 2.5 million dollars of the line's construction cost is being provided by private interests along the corridor which will terminate in the fast growing LoDo section of the city.
The RTD and Colorado Department of Transportation will soon begin a major transportation improvement project along I-25 to the southeast. The freeway will be widened and light rail transit added along the right of way at the same time over the next 5-6 years.
There are 3 Major Investment Studies going on concurrently in Denver for additional transit lines. The study corridors include the Airport ( most likely regional/commuter rail ) , the Lakewood area to the West, and I-25 Corridor to the Fort Collins area.
Denver Union Station will become the focal point for ground transportation in the years
to come. In addition to the Platte Valley light rail line and future commuter/regional
rail, the grand station will also serve as new terminus of the 16th Street Mall. The mall
is served by downtown circulator
Denver continues to show growth in jobs and population since an economic downturn in the 80's. There are now 3.3 million residents in the 6 country metropolitan area. 250-thousand passengers a day use RTD's trains, buses, and vans. RTD has the largest service area for a transit system in the country ( 2400 square miles!).
In upcoming issues I will bring you up to date on many more topics of interest from Rail Volution. Some of the other topics of interest included pros and cons for light rail development, Nashville commuter rail, ever increasing transit ridership across the country, Los Angeles' new Pasadena light rail line, Hudson-Bergen County light rail in New
Jersey, new heavy rail construction in San Juan, Portland's new Airport light rail line being built in a public/private venture with no federal funds, and Caltrans ever expanding inter-city rail passenger program in California.
If you have never attended Rail Volution you are really missing an experience! Next Fall the conference site will be San Francisco coinciding with BART's heavy rail expansion to the Airport.