Feds Grant RTD An Extension, Avoiding Closure Of A, B Commuter Lines

<p>(Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)</p>
<p>RTD&#039;s train from Union Station to Denver International Airport on a test run.</p>

The Regional Transportation District has bought some more time to address issues with the crossing gates on the A and B commuter lines. The Federal Railroad Administration granted RTD a 90-day waiver extension that will allow two lines to continue operation.

“We greatly appreciate the FRA granting the waiver extension, which is the direct result of the excellent working relationship between FRA, RTD and [Denver Transit Partners]," RTD general manager and CEO Dave Genova said in a released statement. "The University of Colorado A Line and the B Line trains have and will continue to operate safely while the remaining crossing issues are being addressed.”

The waiver from the FRA that both lines were operating under was set to expire Nov. 5. Both lines faced a shutdown unless the problems with the crossing gates, an issue since each line opened, were addressed. The temporary solution for RTD has been flaggers stationed at each street/railroad crossing to monitor the gates and direct traffic.

The railroad administration said that flaggers at every crossing was never meant to be “a long-term solution.”

In their statement, RTD notes that the waiver extension states that the district and their operating contractor must hold progress meetings, twice weekly, with regional FRA staff and monthly face-to-face meetings with the Washington D.C. staff.