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RTD aims to restore full R Line service by new year

A four-mile portion of the light rail line between Aurora Metro Center Station and 13th Avenue Station has been suspended since a train derailed Sept. 21.

AURORA, Colo. — The Regional Transportation District hopes to restore service to the R Line by the end of December after a train derailment earlier this year.

A four-mile portion of the light rail line, between Aurora Metro Center Station and 13th Avenue Station, has been suspended since Sept. 21, when a train derailed at the intersection of Exposition Avenue and Sable Boulevard. Three people on the train were taken to the hospital, and 21 others were evaluated by paramedics.

After the derailment, RTD initially operated bus shuttles to replace the canceled trains. RTD stopped running those shuttles on Oct. 30, citing a lack of staffing. 

RTD said on Monday that it aims to restore full service to the R Line sometime in December.

"I appreciate our customers’ continued patience as the agency targets a return to full service in the month of December, though full-service restoration could feasibly occur earlier if certain procedural milestones are met," said Debra Johnson, general manager and CEO, in a statement.

RTD submitted proposed corrective action plans to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Friday. The same day, following a systems redesign of the intersection at Sable and Exposition, crews removed a support pole that was damaged in the derailment and adjusted the overhead wire system that provides power to light rail trains.

RTD said it's also working with the City of Aurora regarding the interplay between trains and traffic at the intersection.

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