Over a period of approximately 24 months, the Northwest Rail Peak Service Study will develop updated engineering and cost estimates to determine operating and station infrastructure recommendations for rail service to northwestern metropolitan communities, which include Arvada, Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville, Boulder, and Longmont.

Capital and operating cost information from the study will help RTD identify funding requirements to operate Peak Service on the Northwest Rail. The first section of the Northwest Rail, known as the B Line, currently operates between Denver Union Station and Westminster Station at 72nd Avenue. The continuation of the Northwest Rail to Longmont offers opportunities for possible partnership with agencies like the Front Range Passenger Rail District.

As in other regions around the country where commuter rail service is implemented in phases as ridership grows, the Peak Service Plan will take steps to preserve future service expansion options.

Study Snapshot

  • Planning service delivery for the 35-mile segment from the existing B Line Westminster Station to future Longmont Station
  • Partnering with local jurisdictions to plan for and conceptually design six new stations: Downtown Westminster (88th Avenue), Broomfield (116th Avenue), Flatiron, Downtown Louisville, Boulder Junction, and Downtown Longmont
  • Identify preferred maintenance facility locations near the end-of-line station in Longmont
  • Coordinating with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) which owns the rail line; Peak Service would operate on existing BNSF tracks
  • Evaluate potential vehicle types to meet operational requirements

Study Goals

The process to reach an acceptable recommendation will be inclusive, equitable, transparent, and honest. The decision-making process will take place through a series of five milestones focused on achieving a common understanding of current conditions and considerations for the path forward. The process will involve engagement from stakeholders, technical advisors, public officials, project partners and study team members.

  • Provide updated engineering plans, cost estimates to determine Peak Service recommendations
    • Establish existing conditions inventory
    • Determine requirements to implement Peak Service operation
    • Estimate capital, operations, maintenance costs
  • Design in a manner to not preclude future build-out
  • Align RTD strategically with the agency’s stated goals of partnering with external stakeholders
Northwest Peak Study Map

ABOUT US

The Northwest Rail Peak Period Study is part of a continuing collaborative effort between RTD, local transportation partners and community stakeholders to identify and address mobility solutions for peak period service along the Northwest Rail alignment extending from Westminster Station to Boulder and Longmont.

60-DAY LOOK AHEAD

  • Study Kick-Off – June 2022
  • Public Open House and On-Demand Virtual Meeting - January 2023

Study Milestones

To encourage participation and meaningful input from stakeholders and the public, the technical work to define the rail infrastructure and operating details will be accomplished within a series of five “Milestone” decision points. The study will generally follow a well-defined methodology linking planning with environmental considerations to position the project for next steps, pending direction from the RTD Board of Directors.

In January 2023, an in-person open house, on-demand virtual meeting and a series of pop-up events around the Northwest area will be hosted to inform the communities about the study and gain public input on the infrastructure changes proposed through the study. On-demand virtual meetings and in-person public open houses will be held to share study milestone results and gather input at the ends of milestones 3, 4 and 5. Look for events and public input opportunities in the 60-day look ahead section of this page.

Vehicle Multiple Unit Examples

STAY INVOLVED!

Help RTD shape the future of rail service in the northwest area. Throughout the study, there will be multiple opportunities for the community to give feedback and provide input on peak rail service and the plans and commitments by jurisdictions for stations amenities. Stay tuned to this site and follow RTD on social media to learn more about input opportunities, including in-person public open houses and virtual engagement opportunities.