Thursday, 12 May 2016

Denver Airport train glitches

Flaggers out at 10 Denver Airport Train grade-level crossings
After the excitement last month with the opening of the new Denver Airport train, problems on the ground at the line's at-grade crossings are causing delays.

While most modern airport trains are elevated or run as underground subways, the Denver Airport authority decided to build their new line at-grade, presumably for financial reasons.

While the community benefits from infrastructure that is more pleasing to the eye (save the underground option), non-elevated trains pose significant risks. While no-one can prevent a determined soul who wants to go beyond barriers to the tracks, most of the risk is mitigated through automated crossing gates.

That is only true, of course, if those gates operate without a glitch. This week, however, issues began to arise when some gates had not fully closed by the time passing trains came by. Yikes.

As a result, while the trains are still running, each of the 10 at-grade crossings on the line are being staffed with flaggers until the situation is figured out.

It has now been revealed that staff tried to delay the train's opening, due to computer problems. This week, it seems officials are wishing they had listened.

Related resources
Denver airport train faces safety concerns amid crossing gate glitches - The Denver Post
RTD responds to critics' concern over safety of DIA train - Biz Journals
RTD ordered to staff 10 train crossings along Denver International Airport train line - The Denver Channel
New Denver Airport train
Denver International Airport (DEN) transportation guide
Denver Layover Ideas and Things to Do in Denver

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