North Metro Rail Line

North Metro Rail Line

The North Metro Rail Line is an 18.5-mile-long commuter rail line that will run from Denver Union Station through Commerce City, Thornton, and Northglenn to 162nd Avenue in North Adams County. Due to delays, the North Metro Rail Line is now expected to open the first 13 miles to 124th Avenue in 2020, which will include seven stations and six new Park-n-Rides.

Project Next-Steps (as of April 6, 2020)

N-Line Work completed as of April 3, 2020

  • Repair complete for all the North Metro Rail Line stations platform edges
  • Removal of non-conforming plaza concrete, excavation and backfill with flow fill at 72nd, 88th, 104th, 112th, and 124th stations.
  • Concrete placed in plaza areas at 72nd Ave, 88th Ave., and 112th Ave. Stations
  • 88th Station plaza reinforcement installed and prepared for concrete placement
  • 104th surface parking lot bottom lift of asphalt paving installed
  • Final lift of asphalt placed at the 112th Park-n-Ride
  • Parking lot striping layout underway at 112th Station
  • Concrete plaza walk at NWSS Station installed

Riverside Emergency Access Road:  In order to support the closing of the at-grade crossing to the Riverside Cemetery, an emergency access road is being constructed on the southwest corner of the property. This work is currently underway.


RTD is working with their contractor, Regional Rail Partners (RRP), to develop an action plan for the North Metro Rail Line (N-Line) to meet the project completion deadlines and is anticipated to be handed over to RTD by the end of April.  The project is currently doing multiple train testing which will require approval from regulatory agencies to pass safety and operational tests. In addition, RTD is currently training their own train operators for revenue service demonstration in preparation of regulatory approval and substantial completion of construction.

Upon completion of construction, operator training and integrated testing RTD has approval Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that they are ready for revenue serviced and can set an opening date for the N-Line.

RTD continues training for the train operators to run trains under Positive Train Control (PTC) rules, while optimizing PTC and wireless crossing software to get consistent and predictable warning times. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is tentatively scheduled to return in April to do the last three grade crossing inspections. This phase is expected to continue for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

RTD met with the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) in Kansas City in March to review the progress of the N-Line. The FRA told RTD that they need to see a minimum of 30 days’ worth of grade crossing data prior to submission of the Revenue Service Demonstration Application. The current testing and processes are expected to provide the required data.

N-Line Rescue Vehicle Status:  The vendor is still waiting for sound deadening and the Cab Generator for the rail cab interior which is experiencing shipping delays to COVID-19 restrictions. Once this is received and installed then horn boxes can be installed and sound testing for cab interior can start.

Current work happening on the N-line corridor:

  • Communications equipment installation/testing is ongoing at all N-Line stations
  • Installing traffic control/informational signage, pavement markings, and parking lot striping at all corridor stations
  • Installing station amenities (trash cans, benches, bike racks, etc.) at all corridor stations
  • Correcting nonconforming and incomplete punch list work throughout the corridor for RTD and local stakeholders (City/County of Denver, Denver Water, Metro Wastewater, City of Thornton


Where are the proposed stops?

Trains will run every 20 minutes during morning/evening rush hours (4 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.). During all other times, the line will operate Monday through Friday, with trains every 30 minutes. The total time from Union Station to the end of the line at Eastlake-124th Avenue Station is expected to be 29 minutes.



Learn More about the North Metro Rail Line

(Information courtesy of RTD FasTracks)

RTD FASTER Grant Update

RTD has been awarded a $1,435,500 FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery act) from CDOT to purchase rail and rail-related items.  RTD is finalizing a procurement package they will present to CDOT for their review prior to advertising for these items.