Boulder FasTracks Access Doomed?

For anyone interested in the FasTracks Northwest Rail issues and considering commuting options that include FasTracks, this may be an important issue for those between Boulder and Denver.

The latest word is that there may not be any mid-day service on the proposed FasTracks line servicing Boulder. The commuter line planned to connect Denver’s Union Station and Boulder’s proposed Transit Village primarily using the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF) freight lines that follow the Boulder Turnpike (U.S. 36) and also the Longmont Diagonal Highway, as it continues Northeast into Longmont.

Well, now the BNSF railroad has let RTD know that it wants passenger service to stop at 10 a.m., and not to resume until 2 p.m. daily.

They say it’s for moving freight trains through the area and to do track maintenance.

The FasTracks people say that they had intended to use the tracks throughout the day and in fact, expected to run every 15 minutes during rush hour and every half-hour the rest of the time. No service at all from 10am to 2pm? I’m not sure that’s going to fly with the commuter public…

This certainly takes us from what I think is a viable commuter alternative a la systems like the Washington DC Metro, San Francisco BART, Paris Metro or even the NYC MTA system, and into a realm of superfluous folly at best.

It’s all up in the air right now as the two entities are still negotiating.

The RTD has planned to build another track adjacent to the existing BNSF track anyway and RTD intended to use both tracks while only the existing BNSF track would carry freight so there appears to be some wiggle room on this topic.

Comments

One Response to “Boulder FasTracks Access Doomed?”

  1. Lindsey on March 22nd, 2008 7:49 pm

    I’m with you. A four-hour break in service makes it pretty inconvenient, especially if that’s going to be the case on weekends as well. I find the L.A. Metrorail to be inconvenient for the the same reason… very little service on weekends, and rush-hour only departure times. It’s a hassle to have to plan your day so carefully. A few minutes late and you can be stuck the whole day or night!

    I’m really looking forward to FasTracks… I just hope it will be all that it can truly be for this area!

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