RTD to test crossing warning systems along N Line

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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An N Line train passes through the 100th Avenue crossing.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver will perform federally required annual testing this week that involves sounding train horns through crossings along the N Line.

The work will take place from Monday, Feb. 14, through Thursday, Feb. 17.

The testing, which will be conducted outside of hours of operation, calculates warning times while trains travel through crossings at maximum authorized speeds without stopping at stations. RTD annually tests crossing warning systems on all its commuter rail services (the University of Colorado A, B, G and N lines).

The N Line, like all RTD commuter rail lines, typically operates using wireless Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, a complex system that reduces the risk of catastrophic train accidents.

Crews will sound horns outside of service hours while performing annual crossing inspections

During the inspections, the crossings on the N Line will be tested in the conventional Automatic Train Control (ATC) mode and PTC will be disabled. Crews are required to sound horns whenever a train’s wireless PTC technology is disabled.

Testing is scheduled to take place at the following dates and locations:

  • Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 14 and 15, 3-4 a.m.: 112th to 124th avenues;
  • Tuesday, Feb. 15, 11 p.m.-midnight, and Wednesday, Feb. 16, 3-4 a.m.: 100th Avenue to Thornton Parkway;
  • Wednesday, Feb. 16, 11 p.m.-midnight, and Thursday, Feb. 17, 3-4 a.m.: Steele Street to 72nd Avenue; and
  • Thursday, Feb. 17, 11 p.m.-midnight: possible testing of any areas that were missed.

Quiet crossings will resume once the work is complete, with trains using horns only when necessary for safety.

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