DENVER — Work to level the A Line track at Union Station is underway, requiring passengers to walk a bit farther to board trains.
Track One at Union Station has settled a half-inch dip (well within Federal Railroad Administration tolerance, according to RTD). The dip is forcing trains to stop at a different location along the platform to avoid an area of the platform that is not level with train cars.
For commuters, every step of walking or running counts when making it to their train on time.
“I had gone to the end of the platform to wait for the train like I always do, and I didn’t see it pull in,” RTD commuter Kelsey Baker said.
Baker missed her train because, she says, she couldn’t see it. The train was hidden behind an elevator shaft toward a far end of the platform, she explained.
“So, they are not pulling the trains all the way in to avoid passengers tripping when they get off the train,” Baker said.
RTD says there are no safety concerns as train operators avoid the area of track that has settled.
“The condition that was described is normal track settlement due to train vibration, occurring with any railroad,” said RTD spokesperson Laurie Huff in a written statement. “The track profile is being corrected through tamping and reregulating the ballast to bring the alignment back into specification. To ensure level boarding of trains, this work is performed from time to time.”
The CTA in Chicago and the BART in the San Francisco Bay Area say it’s not uncommon for their workers to tamp down sections of track.
For Baker, missing the train recently has been the latest in a series of slowdowns for her commute. She says she wishes RTD would have done more to communicate the fix with passengers so they will know where to wait for incoming trains.
Huff says RTD expects the settlement issue to be resolved by Friday.