Central Rail Line and Central Rail Line Extension is the L Line

The 5.3-mile Central Rail Line opened in 1994 and is Denver's first rail line between I-25 & Broadway and the 30th & Downing stations.

The L Line will replace the D Line between the 18th & Stout Station and the 30th & Downing Station, and run on existing track acting as a "loop" around downtown. This change is part of RTD's 2004 voter-approved FasTracks plan to expand transit across the Denver metro area.

Additionally, the future L Line Extension would connect the existing downtown rail service to the University of Colorado A Line from the 30th & Downing Station to the 38th & Blake Station.


About the Project

As part of the January 2018 service changes, the operation of the D Line will be separated into two lines - the D Line and the L Line.

  • The Welton Street segment will operate as the L Line, as proposed in the Central Rail Extension Mobility Study, and will replace the D Line.
  • The L Line will operate between the 18th & Stout Station and the 30th & Downing Station, with all trains turning at 14th Street.
  • The changes will provide better service on the two different segments, including reliability of service along Welton Street, especially in the northbound direction.
  • Proposed service frequency:
    • Weekday: every 15 minutes 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
      every 30 minutes 8:00 p.m. to midnight
    • Weekend: every 15 minutes 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
      every 30 minutes 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 8:00 p.m. to midnight
See L Line Schedules

Additional Changes on the D Line and C Line

  • The D Line will operate on its current route between the Littleton/Mineral Station and 18th & California Station, with all trains turning at 19th Street.
    • With the implementation of the L Line, weekday rush-hour frequency will be reduced from approximately every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes, and train lengths will increase from 3 to 4 cars. The reduced frequency during weekday rush hours will be replaced by the increase in service on the C Line and new L Line.
    • Weekday midday service to the Littleton/Mineral Station will have a combined 15-minute frequency between the C and D lines.
    • Evening and late night service will be reduced, alternate service will be provided by C Line and L Line trips.
    • C Line weekday rush-hour frequency will increase from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes, and late night service will be extended similar to the E Line. The C Line will also operate on weekend and holiday evenings and late nights instead of the D Line, frequencies and hours of service on the C Line will be similar to the existing D Line.
  • These changes will provide improved evening and weekend service to the Union Station area, including airport connections, and events to Coors Field, Pepsi Center and Sports Authority at Mile High Stadium.

New Rail in New Neighborhoods with the L Line Extension

The Central Rail Extension would connect existing downtown rail service with the 38th & Blake Station on the University of Colorado A Line. The L Line would provide rail service between downtown Denver and the 38th & Blake Station, and act as a “loop” around downtown. The extension will require new track.


effective January 1, 2019

Travel on the L Line will be local fares ($3.00 / $1.50 discounted* / $0.90 discounted youth** ) between the 18th & Stout Station and the 30th & Downing Station. Discount fares apply for those who are eligible.

* Discount fares apply to seniors 65+, individuals with disabilities, and Medicare recipients. ** Youth discount fares apply to youth ages 6-19 (up to three children ages 5 and younger ride free with a fare-paying adult). Proof of eligibility is required for all passengers using discounted fare products. Active duty members of the U.S. military ride for free on all RTD services.

local - effective January 1, 2019


1 -2 zones

If your travels take you beyond downtown or 1 to 2 fare zones, you can purchase a Regional fare from a ticket vending machine at one of the downtown stations and transfer to another bus or train all with the same ticket. For best value, RTD’s Local Day Pass and Regional/Airport Day Pass offer unlimited single-day travel for one flat price.

Buy Tickets and Day Passes

You can buy 3-hour tickets and Day Passes using cash, credit or debit at the ticket vending machines located at any RTD rail station. The Regional/Airport Day Pass is the same price ($10.50) as a one-way Airport ticket and grants unlimited travel on any RTD service for the remainder of the service day.

Monthly Pass

Take unlimited rides all month with RTD's Monthly Pass. Travel to the Airport is included in the Regional/Airport Monthly Pass. Monthly Passes may be purchased at any RTD sales outlet, online, or at participating King Soopers and Safeway stores.

Learn more about Monthly Pass

EcoPass and CollegePass

Service on the L Line is included with all EcoPass, CollegePass, and Neighborhood EcoPass cards, including service to Denver Airport Station, at no additional charge.


  • 38th and Blake rendering

    38th & Blake

    (built with the University of Colorado A Line)

    • Address: 3737 Blake Street, Denver
    • Parking spaces: 200
    • Bike parking: 6 lockers, 10 racks
    • Connecting bus routes: 12, 44, 62
    • Please note:This station will be part of the L Line Extension and is not part of the L Line downtown loop
    • 1.14.18
  • Proposed future 35th and Downing location

    35th & Downing

    • coming soon!
  • Proposed future 33rd and Downing location

    33rd & Downing

    • coming soon!
  • 30th and Downing Station

    30th & Downing



RTD Board of Directors adopted the EE for the Central Rail Extension
The Central Rail Extension underwent further analysis, including a study to identify the most feasible transit route and operating plan to provide a direct connection between 38th & Blake and downtown Denver.
The Central Rail Extension Mobility Study is complete and provided several options for considerations. Once final funding is identified, final design and construction will begin. In the meantime, basic engineering design started is expected to be 30% complete in 2015.
Basic engineering was completed. Once final funding is identified, final design and construction on the L Line extension will begin.
The L Line Downtown Loop opened January 14, 2018. The Welton Street segment will operate as the L Line as proposed in the Central Rail Extension Mobility Study.