Monday, December 26, 2016

Will SMART train have severe crossing delays like Denver trains?

RTD A Line slowly returning to normal after crossing issues cause ‘severe’ delays


DENVER -- RTD's A Line to Denver International Airport suffered "operational difficulties" at several crossings on Wednesday morning, leading to "severe" delays in service.

The crossings at York, Clayton, Steele and Dahlia streets were affected, leading to the delays. RTD did not say specifically what the difficulties were. Crossing guards put up cones to hold traffic as trains passed through the crossings.

"Please allow extra travel time during the next few hours as we work diligently to fix the issue," RTD said on its website at 4:45 am.

Delays were running about 30 minutes, but by 8:30 a.m., RTD said some of the trains were running on time while others were experiencing delays of five to 15 minutes. The issue was resolved about noon and RTD said it would take about an hour for normal service to resume.

One passenger who got on the train only to find out it was going to be delayed got off. He described the constant delays as "amateur hour."

"I just ordered a ticket and the guy didn't tell me there was going to be a delay and I have to catch my flight in an hour. And the security guard just told me he couldn't guarantee I would get there in time," the man said. "Totally unacceptable."

Delays on the line are nothing new. The A Line has been plagued by by switching, electrical and power problems since its ballyhooed opening in April.

Power outages on Aug. 10 and 11 led to long delays. Train service was halted both days between the 61st and Pena Station and the airport because of a damaged power wire.

Bus shuttles operated between the station and the airport until power was restored.

There were delays on June 9 because of issues with the positive train control switch and wayside signals. On June 4 and May 22, there were delays because of crossing issues.

Power problems stopped the trains on May 16, 21, 23 and 24. On May 24, a lightning strike cut power to the line, stranding 80 passengers who had to walk on a 50-foot-high bridge.

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