RTD resurfaces A, B and G Line tracks to smooth out the ride

On Sunday, April 30, RTD will begin a program to resurface commuter rail track along the A Line between Union and Denver Airport stations, the B Line between Union and Westminster stations and the G Line between Union and Wheat Ridge•Ward Road stations. 


The planned work will take place from approximately 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday through Friday, with possible work on Friday and Saturday nights, for three weeks, weather permitting. Trains will be single-tracked during periods with 30-minute frequencies. Customers are encouraged to check signs on station platforms for boarding information or visit RTD’s Service Alerts webpage.

Running multiple trains across the lines throughout the service day inevitably leads to shifting and settling of the ballast, the rocks under the rail, beneath the tracks.  

To protect trains, tracks and customers, RTD and its contractor include regular resurfacing as part of its overall maintenance program. Resurfacing corrects rail alignment for a smoother ride and is essential for delivering safe and reliable transit service.

During the resurfacing process, a tamper vehicle picks up the rail along with the rail ties, then pushes metal paddles into the ballast to vibrate and compact the ballast under the ties. This brings the track up to a specified height and gets rid of dips in the rail. A regulator vehicle follows behind the tamper. The regulator distributes the ballast and smooths the track bed to bring it to a uniform appearance. 

In addition to smoothing out any bumps along the alignment, the planned preventive track maintenance is an important way to extend the life of RTD’s rail system. RTD endeavors to be a good steward of its publicly owned infrastructure and keeping the rail in good condition will help it last longer. 

The resurfacing program will go through various locations with homes nearby. While the machines will be noisy, the work is not expected to take more than two days in each location. Resurfacing work through stations is planned to take place outside of service hours or when customers are not present. The work is expected to be complete in late May, weather permitting. 

In fall of 2023, RTD’s contractor will be required to finish the remaining sections of the existing single-track portion of the rail lines. Bus shuttles will be required at that time.