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Denver Union Station Update #79

After another tour inside the construction site yesterday, I have some detailed photos and videos for you. The following are close-up glimpses of the project and an advance peek at upcoming events.

If you would like to see the first test run of a train into the new LRT Station at Union Station, you need to be on the Millennium Bridge at 6:00 P.M. today (Wednesday, August 10, 2011). The electrical systems will be turned on, and a train will roll in. The official start of light rail train service is Monday, August 15, 20911 at about 7:00 A.M.

Click here to see a video of the light rail station that I shot yesterday afternoon.  It will give you a sense for the experience of arriving by train and jumping on the mall shuttle at the new stations.

Here are some close-up still shots. Richard, a DenverInfill visitor, took the first photo on Sunday. I took the others on Monday.

Brennan, the last photo above partially answers your question about signage.  Notice the “W Jeffco-Golden Line” on the new sign. Furthermore, RTD expects to upgrade signs at other stations well in advance of the opening of new lines.

Continuing with my experiment of inserting videos into this blog, here’s another one that gives you a tour of the inside of the underground bus facility.

To my eye, the Chestnut Pavilion and the vent tubes are attractive additions. Richard also contributed the photo on the left.

The skylights are a nice touch above and below ground. I took both of the following photos on Monday afternoon.  The one on the right is obviously from inside the bus station.

I don’t pretend to be aware of advances in tool technology, but the following photo shows a very effective tool. Using suction and a hydraulic hoist, the tool is lifting that 800 pound slab of granite into place in the 16th Street sidewalk. This thing is in the lead for the coveted “2011 Rick Anstey Cool Tool of the Year Award.”

Thank you to Jerry Nery, RTD’s DUS Project Manager, for yesterday’s tour inside the construction fence. As a result of the generous donation of his time, this is a banner week for Union Station project junkies. So far, I’ve uploaded 44 photos to our Denver Union Station page at JobSiteVistor.com. Several of the photos are from inside the bus station, including the mechanical rooms.  My thanks to Richard for the nine photos that he took from the Millennium Bridge.

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10 Comments

  1. ChiTownGuy81 says:

    DenverInfill Guys!

    Thanks for these updates, being a Denver guy now living in Chicago, it is amazing to see the transformation via the internet. I cannot WAIT to see it in person!

  2. Brennan Walter says:

    Rick, thank you very much for these videos and the update. This is great! I could have sworn the West Corridor was going to be the “B” line, but it seems RTD has no problem skipping from “H” to “W.” I’ll admit I think that people will have a lot of questions or observations about that. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to get to Denver and see the new signage and the new LRT terminal. Thanks for keeping this up. DenverInfill and DenverUrbanism are at the top of my RSS feed reader. I’m an aspiring Transportation Planner and Denver would be a great place to work someday.

    Regards,
    Brennan

    • Ken says:

      From what I understand, “A” has been reserved for the line to the airport, “B” for Boulder, and “J” for the Gold Line (for Jefferson County). I’m guessing the North metro will be “N”. Not sure about any others.

    • Nick M says:

      The route code system for the trains has always bothered me in Denver. I think “A” for Airport, “B” for Boulder and “J” for JeffCo (or even “W” for West Line) are actually quite good, but I can’t tell you how much trouble I have explaining to out of towners or just locals unfamiliar with the system (including my quite intelligent wife) that they can take either the “E”, “F” or “H” lines to Colorado Station (depending on their starting location.) Naming them per significant cities, neighborhoods or landmarks along the route seems far more appropriate to me if we’re going to use letters.

      As an aside, I’m also curious how I’m going to explain which Colorado Station will be my out of town friends’ destination once the Airport line goes in, short of writing a detailed note ^_^

  3. Richard says:

    Rick, thanks for sharing your videos and photos! They are very good. Brennan, I don’t have any inside information but I think they may reserve the “B” Line designation for the line out to Boulder, once that it built. I’m just guessing.

  4. OJ Shakewell says:

    Teal is an interesting color for the W line. All of the basic colors are taken, so RTD will have to go all Crayola on us. I look forward to the use of burnt umber or chartreuse.

  5. Patrick says:

    The “G” line will run from the 225-Florida Station to Ridgegate Parkway whenever the Florida Station is built. It will be nice to have direct access to the DTC from the 225 corridor, bypassing the stop at Southmoor. I found this on what may be the final system map for FasTracks in the “2010 Annual Report to DRCOG on FasTracks” (page 83) on the Fastracks website. The map reminds me of the Wash., D.C. Metro map, its pretty cool (maybe deserving a post on Denverinfill?). Has anyone heard about the final funding anouncement for P3? With all this stuff going on in DC, I’m wondering if it may be delayed? Thanks for all the great updates, I’m a big fan!!

  6. Karl says:

    When everyone points to the “B” as the line that will go to Boulder, does that mean the train or the BRT line? Seems like the BRT line would retain the current B designation and the train would become something else, like “L” perhaps for Longmont?

    • Kio says:

      Karl – RTD recently changed the name of the bus service between Boulder and Denver. The regular service which used to be called the ‘B’ has been changed to the ‘BV’ (the express bus remains ‘BX’). The ‘BV’ will be the bus which utilizes the new BRT line, and the ‘B’ will be the rail line that goes to Boulder & Longmont. Also, the bus service between Longmont and Denver is already called the ‘L’.

  7. Nick M says:

    Maybe it would help if we just start calling them by an old fashioned title. Instead of “The E Line” we just say “The E Train”, etc…or maybe it just doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things ;-)