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RTD's first commuter rail cars arrive in Denver

The first rail cars that will be part of RTD's electric commuter rail lines in 2016 arrived in Denver on Thursday, November 20 after a 3-week long journey from the assembly plant in Philadelphia.

The cars are assembled in Philadelphia and shipped four at a time by freight railroad.

Come see the commuter rail cars

You're invited to tour the new train cars and learn about our newest type of transit during an open house at Union Station in downtown Denver.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 6
  • 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day
  • Union Station commuter rail platform directly behind the historic building

Photos

Commuter rail: The details

These are the rail cars that will be used on four FasTracks lines. RTD has purchased 66 vehicles to serve the East Rail Line to Denver International Airport, the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster, the Gold Line to Arvada/Wheat Ridge and the North Metro Rail Line to Thornton.

Commuter rail trains are heavier and travel faster than light rail vehicles, but operate in a similar way, using overhead electric lines. They will travel up to 79 miles per hour. Commuter rail is used on longer lines and make fewer stops than a typical light rail system.

Passengers will be able to walk directly from the station platform onto the vehicles without climbing stairs, as each door offers level boarding. This means each vehicle entrance is accessible to wheelchairs, rolling luggage, bicycles, strollers and other large items. The vehicles have large seats with headrests, overhead storage, luggage racks and bicycle racks.

The steel car shells were manufactured at Hyundai Rotem's plant in South Korea, then shipped to the company's plant in Philadelphia for fitting and assembly of various components including wheel trucks, brakes, seats, propulsion system, flooring, doors and windows.

In Denver, the vehicles will be maintained, serviced and cleaned at the commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF) at 5151 Fox St. in Denver's Globeville neighborhood.

Fast facts

  • Dimensions: 85 ft. long, 10.5 ft. wide, 12.6 ft. high
  • Weight: 70 tons (empty)
  • Maximum Speed: 79 mph
  • Seats: 91
  • Total capacity: 232 (including standees); 2 wheelchair spaces per car
  • Motor power rating: 620 horsepower per vehicle
  • Power source: 25,000 volts AC on an overhead electrical system

See even more commuter rail vs. light rail facts here