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Eagle P3 Commuter Rail Project, United States of America




Key Data


The Eagle P3 Commuter Rail Project is a FasTrack transit programme being undertaken in the Denver Metropolitan area. It consists of three projects - the 36.7km long East Corridor, 11.7km Gold Line Project and the 8.4km section of the Northwest Electrified Rail Segment (NWES). It also includes construction of a new commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF).

The project is owned by Denver transit authority Regional Transportation District (RTD). It is estimated to require an investment of approximately $2.1bn. The ground breaking ceremony took place in August 2010. It is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

The project is being carried out under a public-private partnership (PPP), which is rare in the United States. The six year design-build-operate-maintain and finance contract was awarded to Denver Transit Partners (DTP) in June 2010.

DTP is led by Flour Enterprises and Macquarie Capital Group. The partnership also includes Denver Rail, Uberior Infrastructure Investments (a unit of Lloyd's banking group) and Balfour Beatty.

Flour and Balfour Beatty have a 50% share each in the engineering, procurement and construction contract and 33% share each in the operations and maintenance. The other members are Ames Construction, Hyundai-Rotem, Alternative Concepts Inc., Parsons Brinckerhoff, Interfleet Technology, Systra, Wabtec, PBS&J and HDR Global Design Consultants.

"The project is owned by Denver transit authority Regional Transportation District."

DTP will contribute $1.3bn towards the project.

So far it has sourced $450m through private funding and has helped save $300m for the state transit authority.

According to the contract, RTD will retain ownership of assets and the project will be operated and maintained by the consortium for a 30-year concession period from the date of completion.

Lines and routes

The East Corridor will be an electrified commuter rail line between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport (DIA). It will have five intermediate stations at 38th / Blake, Colorado, Central Park, Peoria and the 40th / Airport.

The Gold Line (also an electric commuter rail line) will start from Denver Union Station and end at Wheat Ridge. It will pass through Northwest Denver, Adams County and Avarada. It will have stations at 41st Avenue, Pecos, Federal, Sheridan, Olde Town, Arvada Ridge and Ward Road.

The Northwest Rail Corridor will be a 41 mile long high-capacity line starting from Denver Union Railway and finishing at Longmont. It will pass through North Denver, Adams County, Westminister, Broomfield, Louisville and Boulder.

Project

The Eagle P3 project is part of a $6.7bn 12-year transit FasTrack programme that includes construction of 122 miles of commuter and light-rail services and 18 miles of bus services in the eight-county area. It also includes addition of 21,000 new parking spaces and redevelopment of Denver Union station.

"The second phase of the project includes construction of Gold and second segments of NWES Lines."

The project will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will include the construction of the East Corridor, the two mile first segment of the NWES and a CRMF.

It also includes design of the Gold and second segments of the NWES lines, purchase of EMUs and electrical systems for Denver Union Station.

The second phase of the project includes construction of Gold and second segments of NWES Lines.

Commencement of this phase, however, depends on the funds ($1bn) that are expected to be received from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in 2011.

The East Corridor project was approved by FTA in November 2009. The estimated cost of this line is $1bn.

While the project has already broken ground at East corridor, the final design will be completed only in the fourth quarter of 2010. It is scheduled to open in 2015.

The Gold Line project received a Record of Decision which marks the end of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in November 2009. The construction is scheduled to commence in 2011 and the line is expected to open in 2016.

The EIS assessment on the NWES is yet to be completed.

The CRMF is being constructed on 30 acres of land in the Fox North site located on the Gold and Northwest Rail alignments. The site is also connected to the East and the proposed 18 mile long North Metro corridor (Denver Union Station and 162nd Avenue) lines at Denver Union Station. The facility will be used to repair, maintain, fuel and store the vehicles serving the Eagle P3 corridors.

Rolling stock

The FRA compliant EMUs will be operating on the Eagle P3 corridors. They will be manufactured by Hyundai-Rotem and will have many components in common for ease of maintenance.

A total of 50 electric multiple units (EMUs) will be purchased as the rolling stock for the new transit system.

Graphical picture of the planned Colorado Railway Station in the East Corridor.
Exterior of the EMU.
Interior of the EMU.