The Eagle P3 Commuter Rail Project is a FasTrack transit programme being undertaken in the Denver Metropolitan area. It includes three projects, namely 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 $2.2bn. The ground-breaking ceremony took place in August 2010.
The project is being carried out under a public-private partnership (PPP), which is rare in the US. 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 each have a 50% share in the engineering, procurement and construction contract and a 33% share in the operations and maintenance. The other members are Ames Construction, Hyundai-Rotem, Alternative Concepts, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Interfleet Technology, Systra, Wabtec, PBS&J and HDR Global Design Consultants.
DTP will contribute $1.3bn towards the project. 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 is an electrified commuter rail line between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport (DIA). It has seven intermediate stations at 38th / Blake, Colorado, Central Park, Peoria, the 40th / Airport, 61st & Peña Boulevard and Denver 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 also have stations at 41st Avenue, Pecos, Federal, Sheridan, Olde Town, Arvada Ridge and Ward Road.
The Northwest Rail Corridor will be a 41-mile high-capacity line between Denver Union Railway and Longmont. It will pass through North Denver, Adams County, Westminister, Broomfield, Louisville and Boulder. The Northwest Rail line from Denver to south Westminster was opened to public in July 2016.
Eagle P3 project details
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, as well as 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 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.
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 the East corridor, the final design was completed in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) granted $1.03bn for the construction of second phase of the project in August 2011.
The Gold Line project received a Record of Decision, marking the end of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in November 2009. The construction was commenced in 2011.
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.
The FRA-compliant EMUs operate on the Eagle P3 corridors. They are being manufactured by Hyundai-Rotem and will have many common components to facilitate maintenance.
A total of 50 electric multiple units (EMUs) are being purchased as the rolling stock for the new transit system.