Denver Eagle Final Line Opens for Service
The third and final line of the Denver Eagle commuter rail project opens on April 26th. The G Line, which runs through residential and business areas from Denver Union Station to Wheat Ridge, has 8 local stops and also allows travellers to connect to the A Line for quick and easy access to Denver International Airport.
John Laing, the global infrastructure developer and investor, with offices across the US, has played a key role in the delivery of the project, as part of the Denver Transit Partners consortium (DTP). John Laing Senior Vice President, John Thompson, is the ongoing CEO at DTP.
Continued Project Success
The A and B Lines, opened in 2016, have shown consistently good performance, with on-time trains running at 97.1% and 99.2% respectively. A total of nearly 19 million people have ridden the lines since opening, helping to reduce road congestion, improve journey times and contribute to a healthier air environment across the city.
John Laing anticipates this success to continue with the G Line, which will carry an estimated 9,000 passengers per day. The line operates across communities where the train service is much-needed; in fact, some residents and businesses have started to move into these communities in order to take advantage of the opportunities created by the new rail link.
All lines are fitted with Positive Train Control technology – a system mandated by US Congress, which is designed to manage collision avoidance, speed restrictions and rail-worker safety. These are the first rail lines in the United States to have this technology built in rather than retro-fitted.
This project is a clear example of the value the P3 approach and John Laing can bring to transportation projects:
- Active involvement in investment and delivery across complex rail projects.
- A wealth of international experience brought to projects at a local level that are focused on the benefit to local communities. John Laing commits its people as well as its money.
- Rail sector expertise – from transit systems to rolling stock – that means we are ideally placed to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
- A clear vision and positive approach that makes us a valuable asset to any project.
- A strong record of achievement in project delivery.
- An in-depth understanding of project dynamics with the skills to manage challenge and change.
A significant achievement for the P3 approach to infrastructure build
The Denver Eagle project has been a significant one – not just for the public authorities and private partners involved, but also for the P3 model itself. As the first transit P3 in the US, it is a testament to the vision and outcomes sought by Denver’s Regional Transportation District. It has involved the construction of three new lines, with 40.2 miles of new infrastructure in total, and 18 stations.
Lines have been constructed within busy urban areas as well as quieter suburbs, each of which brings its own challenge in terms of managing disruption, construction access, noise and environmental considerations and close communication with local communities. The project has also received extremely close political, regulatory and media scrutiny, meaning that project partners including John Laing have faced a wide range of challenges throughout the process.
The new transit lines are being welcomed. The growth of residential neighborhoods and business communities along the G Line in particular, shows the desire for better transportation networks around the city, and for a non-road connection to Denver International Airport.
“The project could not have been completed on public money alone,” commented Olivier Brousse, CEO of the John Laing Group. “The P3 approach is the best collaborative and sustainable way to finance and deliver complex infrastructure projects of this nature and the successful completion of the Denver Eagle project demonstrates the power of partnership between the public and private sectors. John Laing is proud to have been associated with such a success, and we hope that it will become a template for future rail and transport P3 projects in the US”
DTP CEO, John Thompson said: “The opening of the G Line is a significant milestone in Denver’s public transit story. The A and B Lines are already demonstrating great performance – and great popularity with the travelling public. Like all complex, major transportation projects, there have been challenges, but by working closely with all parties, we have been able to achieve the approvals we need and are looking forward to the G Line being as successful and popular with travellers. Both the residential and business communities in Denver want a reliable, affordable, environmentally-friendly transit option – fares are as low as $3 to ride the entire line – and the rail system provides exactly that. John Laing has been instrumental in the success of this project, and remains involved with the ongoing operations, helping to transform the communities in which it invests.”