After years of planning and construction, today marked the opening of the University of Colorado A Line. A train pulled up to the train platform at Denver International Airport station at 9:30 a.m. carrying representatives of RTD, The City of Denver, The City of Aurora, and the State of Colorado. These officials were on hand to cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the University of Colorado A Line for service. A great number of reporters and photographers/videographers were on hand to document the event. As the train pulled up, members of the media jostled and squeezed together on the train platform to capture the ribbon cutting ceremony. There must have been around 50 people trying to capture the event. Below is a photo of the train that carried the officials from Denver's Union Station to Denver International Airport. Commuter rail trains will travel up to 79 mph and carry more people than light rail vehicles—200 people at maximum. The vehicles will offer level boarding to better accommodate travelers with luggage and accessibility needs. The distance on the line between Denver International Airport and Denver's Union Station is 23 miles. Trains will run every 15 minutes during peak hours with the trip from Union Station and the airport taking 37 minutes. The rail line will serve eight stations, including Denver Union Station and the DIA station located at the south end of the main terminal at DIA. A trip on this train will cost $9.00.
"This is a great day!"
-Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
“Our vision has always been to build a multimodal system that supports the transit needs of the growing Denver metro area,” said RTD Board Chair, Tom Tobiassen. “The opening of the FasTracks projects helps us bring that dream closer to reality. The University of Colorado A Line is a key factor in connecting communities with transit and allowing people to travel from their homes to anywhere around the world.”
The University of Colorado A Line train platform is located adjacent to The Westin DIA which houses 519 rooms in a 14-story building. The Westin DIA opened in November and was designed by Gensler architecture firm. The design of the hotel is explained in the below statement provided by Gensler:
"The concept of connection is seen throughout, in details such as extending the grid of the Public Transit Center’s netted canopy into the interior ceiling of the Level 6 check-in area. Views from one element of the project into provide travelers with an intuitive sense of where they are in relationship to the Public Transit Center, hotel, plaza and terminal. From the hotel lobby, for example, travelers can watch trains arriving and departing from the train station below."
Here is a photo of the Westin DIA lobby:
A photo of the Westin DIA as seen from the 82,000 square foot public plaza that is located between the main terminal and the hotel. Escalators are located here which provide access to the train platform below.
Below are two photos from inside the Westin DIA:
“The opening of the University of Colorado A Line is a historic milestone towards the completion of RTD’s FasTracks program and continues our success rate of opening major infrastructure projects,” said General Manager and CEO of RTD, Dave Genova. “We continue to transform the region and the University of Colorado A Line will connect the Denver metro area to the world.”
Below Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and General Manager and CEO of RTD, Dave Genova hold a piece of ribbon from today's ceremony as Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, and Senator Michael Bennet stand behind them.