Colorado Public Utilities Commission Requests RTD To Strengthen Maintenance Plans

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of RTD

DENVER – Colorado Public Utilities Commission states RTD has failed to prevent increasing maintenance issues for its light rail system.

In a report from CPR News, RTD’s E, H, and R lines have been traveling at only 10 mph for the last couple of weeks. This comes after inspectors detected track issues earlier this year. RTD’s Coping Panels Project, a two-year maintenance project that began in April 2023 to repair caps on retaining walls, has caused slower trains and reduced service on the E and H lines. 

Recently, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission told RTD to increase maintenance “after disintegrating track was discovered in downtown Denver in late 2022.” Now, it wants the RTD to do more with its safety and maintenance asset management plans. On June 14, 2024, Rebecca White, Director of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, sent a follow-up from a meeting with the RTD “regarding the SE Corridor low speed conditions.” In the follow-up, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission requested information updates and follow-up actions from the RTD. In its efforts to improve rail conditions, the RTD should increase its transparency with the public. Additionally, the letter requests the following:

  • “All safety inspection results for the SE Corridor for the period of January 1, 2024 to the date of this letter. Such results shall include the condition of rail by segment and specific issues identified. 
  • Updates to these inspection results and repair schedules progress provided in writing to the PUC every 48 hours until work is completed. 
  • A detailed schedule for completing similar inspections of RTD’s additional light rail lines, with a particular focus on the SW and CPV corridors.”

The letter can be read in its entirety below:

RTD spokesperson Tara Broghammer said, “The agency’s enhanced inspection methodology directly supports managing rail assets to prioritize performance. . . Trained staff now ride the system twice weekly and walk it every 90 days to take additional measurements and carefully document anomalies found.”

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