B Line (RTD)
The B Line, also known as the Northwest Rail Line during construction, is a commuter rail line which is part of the commuter and light rail system operated by the Regional Transportation District in the Denver metropolitan area in Colorado. Part of the FasTracks project, the first 6.2-mile (10 km) section from downtown Denver to south Westminster opened on July 25, 2016. If fully built out, estimated around 2042, the B Line will be a 41-mile (66 km) high-capacity route from Denver Union Station to Longmont, passing through North Denver, Adams County, Westminster, Broomfield, Louisville and Boulder.
Bridge carrying B and G lines over freight lines and South Platte River
|Status||Operating in truncated segment|
|Owner||Regional Transportation District|
|Locale||Denver metropolitan area|
Downtown Longmont (proposed)
|System||Regional Transportation District|
|Operator(s)||Denver Transit Partners|
|Rolling stock||Hyundai Rotem, Silverliner V|
|Opened||July 25, 2016|
|Line length||6.2 miles (10 km) (initial segment)|
41 miles (66 km) (proposed)
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV AC (60 Hz) overhead lines|
The B Line's southern terminus is at Union Station in Denver. It runs on a railroad right-of-way north sharing track with the G Line until Pecos Junction station, after which the two routes diverge. Initially, the B Line continues north to its terminus at Westminster station; this is completed in approximately 15 minutes.
|Name||Opening Year||Interchange||Municipality / CDP||Park-n-Ride?||Status|
|B Line (Union Station – Downtown Longmont)|
, & Lines|
, , & Lines
FREE MallRide (16th St)
|41st & Fox||2019||Line||Denver||Yes||Open|
|Pecos Junction||2019||Line||North Washington||Yes||Open|
In 2004, Colorado voters approved FasTracks, a multibillion-dollar public transportation expansion plan. As part of the Eagle P3 project, the first segment of the B Line opened on July 25, 2016. The remaining segment, extending to downtown Longmont, will require additional funding in order to be completed prior to 2042. The announcement angered many voters in the cities and suburbs north of Denver, who had approved a sales tax increase in 2004 to fund the FasTracks project.
The downturn in the economy, poor cost projections that significantly underestimated construction costs and other reasons led to the initiation of the year-long "Northwest Area Mobility Study" for what was then known as the Northwest Rail line. Out of this study came an agreement between northwest area governments and transportation partners to build a line very different from what the lines voters originally approved. The study concluded in 2014. It made a number of recommendations that were adopted by the RTD.
In summer 2018, the U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition was gathering support from other members to ask RTD to provide an estimate for at least weekday rush hour commuter rail service along the original corridor to Longmont. In spring 2019, Longmont City Council asked RTD to look into the barebones "Peak Service Plan". RTD estimated a start-up cost of $117 million, serving an initial weekday ridership of 1,400. By mid-2019, completion of the full original line was estimated at $1.1-1.5 billion (in 2013 dollars), targeted for 2042, 25 years after the original planned opening. In early 2020, RTD estimated it could construct the rest of the line for peak-direction service at a cost of $700-800 million; full-day service would not be expected until 2050 at a final cost of $1.5 billion.
- "Commuter train testing begins on G Line". RTD FasTracks. Regional Transportation District of Denver. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- "RTD - B Line". Regional Transportation District. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- Villanueva, Raquel; McGill, Nick (25 July 2016). "RTD unveils B-Line in Westminster". TEGNA, NBC. 9News KUSA-TV. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Aguilar, John (24 January 2020). "Non-RTD solution to Boulder's long-missing train draws hope, skepticism". Denver Post. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- "RTD - Northwest Rail Line - Project Map". Regional Transportation District. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- Regional Transport District. "Northwest Corridor FAQ". Regional Transport District. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Whaley, Monte (August 10, 2012). "RTD officials face legislative grilling over commuter rail delay". The Denver Post. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Thomas, Dillon (10 August 2018). "Boulder County Cities Want Share Of FasTracks". CBS4 Denver. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- "Boulder council: RTD proposals have broad impacts". Boulder Daily Camera.
- "Boulder concerned about RTD transit plan along U.S. 36". Boulder Daily Camera.
- "RTD proposes cut of direct Boulder service". The Denver Post.
- "U.S. 36 reconstruction ongoing as is branding plan". The Denver Post.
- Whaley, Monte (February 4, 2013). "RTD foots bill for study of northwest transit system, cities sign on". The Denver Post. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Fryar, John. "Area cities consider funding rail service to Longmont". Colorado Hometown Weekly. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- Minor, Nathaniel. "Heard Chatter About A Bare-Bones RTD Train To Boulder? Don't Hold Your Breath". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 2019-05-10.