Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Colorado Railfan: First Look at Union Station

Longtime web photographer and near-permanent fixture on CR, Kevin Morgan of ColoradoRailfan.com visited Union Station and the Moffat Tunnel with his apprentice railfan photographers on Sunday. They explored the outcome of the Union Station Project, a project that broke ground 4 years ago and officially wrapped up just last month.

The new waiting room fuses much of its past elegance with modern touches. The chandeliers are a big improvement over the unbelievably ugly Carter-era fluorescents.
Photo: Kevin Morgan, ColoradoRailfan.com 

The DUSPA project's main effort was to enhance the station with the goal of tying all of the FasTracks projects to one central transportation nexus. Once FasTracks wraps up, it should allow a person to ride from any Light Rail or commuter rail (like from DIA) to any other point on RTD's rail or express bus service using the station as a hub. The connections are made between the train platforms, the light rail platform further out from the station and the underground bus terminal.

As Kevin explains, of the 6 rail platforms, the middle 2 are for Amtrak/intercity trains and the 4 outer tracks are for commuter trains from DIA and the Gold Line.
Union Station survives intact (more or less) with 6 train platforms, light rail and bus terminal, ready to connect another century of passengers, near and far.
Photo: Kevin Morgan, ColoradoRailfan.com

Now that the remodel of Denver Union Station is complete, one could wonder at the possibilities of intercity transit along the Front Range and possibly the I-70 corridor. Doing so could level out some of Denver's pricey real estate and extend the effective range of any working family within 20 miles of I-25 while reducing the impact on traveler and environment. Surely, Union Station is now up to the challenge.

Be sure to check out the rest of Kevin's photos from the day, including a primarily-EMD powered manifest at Plain harkening back to the days of the Rio Grande!◊

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