Colorado's two U.S. senators and two members of the U.S. House from metro Denver have taken the unusual step of writing a joint letter to federal and local officials urging them to step up efforts to resolve problems on RTD's commuter-rail lines ahead of a possible shutdown of the transit agency's airport train.
The letter addresses technological problems on the transit agency's A Line route between Denver Union Station and Denver International Airport that have kept crossing gates from functioning properly.
"... No substantial progress has been made to correct the problem permanently," the letter says. "... We cannot afford any further delays or loss of service."
The letter is addressed to Denver's Regional Transportation District; Denver Transit Partners, RTD's private-sector partner in building and operating the trains; and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which regulates the system.
Read more at Colorado Politics: https://bit.ly/2El0ZXk
You can see the letter in full below:
Dear Administrator Batory, Mr. Genova, and Mr. Thompson:
We write following the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) November 15 letter to Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) regarding the ongoing issues with the grade crossings on the Eagle Project’s commuter rail lines. We urge all parties to work together to ensure the action plan called for in the letter is completed by December 15 in a manner that ensures safety and meets all federal requirements, while facilitating continued progress on the Eagle Project.
In the November 15 letter, FRA detailed a number of ways the current grade crossing warning signal timing is not in compliance with waivers previously issued by the Administration. It also noted in the two and half years since the initial waiver, no substantial progress has been made to correct the problem permanently.
FRA has been clear the Eagle Project must show compliance with waiver conditions before the Administration can approve quiet zones for any part of the system or allow the Gold Line to begin revenue service demonstrations. Additionally, continued noncompliance could jeopardize the waiver conditions allowing the existing service on the A Line. We cannot afford any further delays or loss of service.
The Eagle Project’s success is critical for our constituents. Many stakeholders came together to support the project based on the economic and quality of life benefits it promises. They are counting on all parties to live up to their obligations and provide the service agreed to.
We are encouraged all parties continue to cooperate, but efforts to resolve the grade crossing issues have so far proved insufficient. The action plan is a crucial step toward resolving these issues once and for all. We strongly urge all parties to fully commit to completing a satisfactory action plan by the December 15 deadline and work together to implement this action plan swiftly, and we stand ready to help facilitate this process in any way possible.
Diana DeGette Michael F. Bennet
Member of Congress United States Senator
Cory Gardner Ed Perlmutter
United States Senator Member of Congress