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RTD's 'Train to Plane' plagued with problems before opening day

Six days before RTD's A Line opened up to the public, the testing of the line was encountering problem after problem thanks to a late spring snowstorm.

Chris Vanderveen

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Six days before RTD’s A Line opened up to the public, the testing of the line was encountering problem after problem thanks to a late spring snowstorm.

At one point a train lost all power near DIA. When a rescue train was sent to assist, it too lost power.

Analysis by 9Wants to Know of dozens of daily status reports show RTD was well aware of the fact the testing phase wasn’t coming close to expectations.

The author of the daily status report put it bluntly. “Train service did not run well.”

It would hardly be the only worrisome day encountered by RTD and Denver Transit Partners in the lead up to April 22.

Analysis by 9Wants to Know of dozens of daily status reports show RTD was well aware of the fact the testing phase wasn’t coming close to expectations.

Crossings weren’t working properly. Trains were losing power. On some testing days, the on-time percentage dipped well below 70 percent.

Yet RTD never made the decision to delay the opening.

As an RTD spokesperson put it, “We literally would never open a project if we said every single issue had to be addressed 100 percent. That’s simply not attainable.”