RTD F LINE
F line operates between
Lincoln Ave. in Lone Tree and 18th Street in
downtown Denver Monday thru Friday. It does not
operate on weekends. Service began on November 17,
2006. It shares trackage with the
E line from
Lincoln Ave. to Colfax Ave., where it turns off along
H lines and heads
downtown. Standard train length is two or three
Two tracks, center
platform. Doors open only to the left. The
southbound ADA ramp extends straight ahead. The station
itself is on the northwest side of Welton St., between
Broadway and 20th St. Except for the two
tracks, the canopy arrangement is the same as 25th
St. and 29th St.
We are now at Broadway, the east/west
dividing point in Denverís street numbering system.
Welton St. runs northeast-southwest while Broadway and
Downing St. run north-south. Metro Denverís streets are
laid out in a north-south rectangular grid while
downtown Denverís streets are laid out in a diagonal
grid in relation to the rest of the metro area. This is
because Denver was originally founded on the banks of
the South Platte River, which flows southwest-northeast
at the point of the first settlement. The first streets
were laid out in parallel to the river. As the city grew
and expanded, a north-south grid was adopted. The
original diagonal grid was retained and is confined
mainly to the area north of Colfax Ave. and west of
Downing St. All diagonal streets end at Downing St.
except for Market St. and Blake St., and become numbered
east-west avenues. Numbered
streets downtown run diagonally southeast-northwest
while named streets run northeast-southwest. With few
exceptions, avenues (both named and numbered) and roads
run east-west while streets and boulevards run
After leaving the 20th-Welton
station, our train turns right onto 19th
St., crosses Broadway, and continues along 19th
St. before turning left onto Stout St, running in the
opposite direction of vehicular traffic. The northbound
track is left behind at California St., where there is a
wye turnout. The loop track is used by
trains from Lincoln Ave. and Nine Mile respectively, as
well as by some peak hour
D trains headed back to
Mineral Ave. joins the southbound track at this point.
We are now on the loop portion downtown. The following
stations are located just before each intersection. They
feature one ADA ramp at the forward end which doubles
back plus a single canopy with a raised circular center
and herald boards on the ends and in the center.
Canopies at these stations are longer than the center
canopies at other stations and do not extend over the
ADA ramp. Tracks on the downtown loop are situated on
the right side of the street relative to the trainís
forward direction except for the single block along 14th
St. ADA strips were replaced in 2006 and lengthened to
accommodate four-car trains. Boarding at all downtown
loop stations is done from the sidewalk, and train doors
open only to the right.
From this point to
Broadway, the F
line shares trackage with the
Boarding is from the northwest sidewalk. This is the
terminus for trains marked "18th Street".
Trains looping back to the south stop at both 18th
St. stations. Layup time on such trains is minimal,
similar to subway trains stopping at South Ferry in New
Identical to 18th & Stout. 16th
St. itself is a pedestrian mall at this point. A
transfer is available to the 16th Street Free
MallRide. As a result, this is one of the busiest
stations on the line. Consisting of free shuttle buses
running along the entire length of the mall, this
service was inaugurated in October 1982 with the opening
of the mall itself. Shuttle buses originally ran from
the Civic Center at Broadway to Market St. In September
2001, shuttle service was extended to Union Station in
anticipation of the new Central Platte Valley Spur;
however, passengers could only travel as far as Wynkoop
St. until the
C line opened.
Just before 14th St, our train passes the
southern loop turnout that permits trains from 30th
Ave. to loop northward. The former 14th &
Stout station was located here.
After crossing 14th St.,
both tracks are side by side once again. We have now
left the loop portion. Initially, the line proceeded
straight down Stout St. from 14th Street to
Speer Blvd., passing between Currigan Exhibition Hall
and the Colorado Convention Center. In 2002, Currigan
Hall was demolished to allow expansion of the Convention
Center. In the process, Stout St. was rerouted along
with the light rail tracks. Just past 14th
Street, the tracks curve westward, leaving the original
alignment, and literally run through the new Convention
Center parking garage.
CONVENTION CENTER/ PERFORMING ARTS
Convention Center/Performing Arts
Two tracks with a center platform
along with one side platform for southbound boarding.
Doors open on both sides. The southern end features an
ADA ramp shared by both tracks while the northern end
has separate ADA on the outside of each track. This
station opened on November 28, 2004 and replaced both
original 14th Street stations (see Abandoned
Stations). It is physically located inside the
Convention Center parking garage, is accessed from 14th
Street and was built to accommodate four-car trains.
The tracks then curve to the
southwest, running adjacent to Champa Street and pass a
diamond crossover, then curve eastward before emerging
from the garage and rejoining the original alignment.
Our train then crosses Speer Blvd. and Cherry Creek and
aligns with W. Colfax Ave. (US 40), Denverís main
east-west artery, on the north side.
tracks, offset outside platforms with a low fence
between the tracks. Doors open only to the right.
The southbound ADA ramp extends straight ahead and the
boarding area extends back around a gentle curve. This
station is parallel to W. Colfax Ave. and serves the
Auraria Campus which includes Metropolitan State
College, the Community College of Denver, and the
University of Colorado at Denver. Because of the offset
boarding areas, the ADA ramps are closer together than
at other stations. Each boarding area features a single
canopy with a raised circular center. Herald boards are
on the circular center. A transfer is available to the
#16 Colfax Ave. and #30 Dartmouth buses. Some peak hour
trains turn back to 18th St. from this
Leaving Colfax at Auraria, we
continue west for several blocks to 7th
Street before descending at the point where Colfax Ave.
rises onto a concrete viaduct. Beneath the viaduct, our
train passes a signal-protected grade crossing where it
lines at a 3-way at-grade junction.
trains continue straight, then turn sharply left beneath
the viaduct. A normally-unused turnout branches off to
the right and permits trains from downtown to go to
The Central Platte Valley Spur
is discussed separately later in this article.
From here, the
H lines share the same
tracks on a private ROW to Broadway. Just south of the
junction, the overhead wire changes over to catenary.
Our train passes a gate-protected grade crossing at 13th
Ave. Industrial freight tracks from the Burnham Freight
Yard run alongside the light rail line as far south as
10th & Osage
Two tracks, center
platform. This station is approached on foot from
the east; doors open only to the left. The southbound
track rails have exposed ties. The Buckhorn Exchange,
Denverís original steakhouse dating from 1893, is
located on the northeast corner of 10th Ave.
and Osage St., a mere stoneís throw from the station.
There are no bus transfers and no parking is available.
There is a canopy at each end with circular herald
boards, and the southbound ADA ramp extends straight
back with the walkway folding back to the boarding area.
South of this station, our train
passes access switches to the Mariposa storage yard and
maintenance facility directly adjacent to and east of
the line, as well as the only physical track connection
to the outside world Ė a single crossover switch from
the adjacent industrial freight track. It is used
primarily for delivery of new equipment. The Mariposa
facility was remodeled after the Elati yard and
maintenance facility opened. Heavy repairs are performed
at Mariposa now. After passing beneath 6th
Ave., our train climbs a ramp onto a concrete flyover
and crosses over Santa Fe Drive and Kalamath Street as
well as 1st and 3rd Avenues. After
descending from the flyover, our train passes a
gate-protected grade crossing at Bayaud Ave., then
crosses over Alameda Ave. This east-west artery was
depressed many years ago, and three railroad overpasses
accommodated the numerous freight tracks at this
location. The easternmost bridge, the widest of the
three, is no longer used, and light rail trains utilize
the middle bridge.
center platform. Doors open only to the left. The
southbound ADA ramp extends straight ahead and the
walkway leads back to the boarding area. southbound
track rails have exposed ties. The station is south of
Alameda Ave. and parallel to Cherokee St., and has the
same layout as 10th & Osage. Transfers are
available to the #3 Alameda Ave. and #52 buses. The
ParkíníRide lot at this station has been expanded
Just after leaving Alameda Ave, the
freight tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Railroad, formerly the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
along with the Denver and Rio Grande Railroads, align
with the light rail line and run adjacent on the west
side of it. At the same time, the southbound track
splits into two tracks. Our train takes the newer outer
track and passes beneath I-25, where the two original
tracks spread apart north of the single crossover switch
just before the Broadway station.
I-25 & Broadway
Three tracks with
platforms between each track. Originally built as
a two-track station, it was expanded in 2003 to
accommodate additional trains branching off onto the
Southeast Corridor immediately to the south. Each track
was assigned a number when the Southeast Corridor
opened. The third track and additional platform were
added west of the existing facility, and southbound
trains began using the new track on February 2, 2004.
trains normally use the new outer third track, or Track
trains use the original southbound track or Track 2, now
in the middle. The northbound track is used by all
trains and is now designated as Track 1. Doors open only
to the left. The southbound ADA ramp on the center
loading area doubles back. Each ADA ramp has its own
canopy. The new southbound track has exposed ties while
the current middle track is now embedded in concrete
after having exposed ties when the line first opened.
This station is approached on foot from the east and is
situated just to the north of the former Gates Rubber
Company factory. It was the original southern terminus
of the line for all trains, and later for C/Orange and
D/Green trains marked "I-25/Broadway" until all trains
were through routed to Mineral Ave. in May of 2003. Some
AM rush hour trains from Mineral Ave. bypass this
station. Although train destination signs and station
herald boards say I-25/Broadway, recorded announcements
refer to this station as simply, Broadway. This is a
major transfer station, with numerous bus transfers
available along with 1,004 parking spaces. A long canopy
extends along almost the entire length of the station on
the outside of the northbound track, instead of the
center boarding area. It has a circular roof with herald
boards towards the northern end, not in the exact
center. A former Denver Tramways streetcar, minus its
trucks and sporting an "Englewood" sign, served as a
waiting room just south of the station on the east side
for a number of years. It was removed during
construction of the Southeast Corridor and not put back.
the I-25/Broadway station, the
lines turn off to the left at grade. There is a
connection that permits southbound
trains on the middle track to continue on to Mineral
Ave, if needed. Short turn trains continue south to a
new layup track before reversing direction. Track work
south of the station was altered during construction of
the Southeast Corridor. The original layup track was
removed and relocated further south. It is accessed from
the middle track at Broadway. Short turn trains switch
to this track after leaving Broadway. The two new tracks
merge with the southbound track just north of
Mississippi Ave. Our train proceeds south past the Gates
plant, crossing over Mississippi Ave. first and then
Iowa Ave. It then ramps up and crosses over an
industrial siding via flyover just to the north of the
Evans station. At this point, the tracks are now
adjacent to Santa Fe Drive (US 85), with the BNSF tracks
in between. The industrial siding continues south,
running adjacent to the light rail line on the east side
and ending just beyond the Evans station. It used to
continue to the site of the now-demolished General Iron
Works facility at 601 W. Bates Ave. Ground was broken
for the $35 million, 125,000 square foot Elati
maintenance facility for LRVs at this site on July 30,
2002. It was dedicated on June 17, 2004 and began
functioning as the main facility in January of 2005. It
can accommodate 18 cars inside while 100 cars can be
stored outdoors. Normal maintenance and light repairs
are carried out at the Elati facility while the original
Mariposa facility is used for heavy repairs.
After leaving Broadway on the middle
track, the line branches off from the Southwest Corridor
and negotiates an S curve over Broadway on a steel bent
bridge and around an office building of the Gates Rubber
Company before descending down to the floor of the
Narrows, a portion of I-25 so named when it narrowed to
three lanes in each direction while following the course
of an ancient riverbed. Since the completion of
the T-Rex project, this stretch of highway has come to
be known as the Grand Canyon. The entire stretch
from Logan Street to just before University Blvd. is in
an open cut that was enlarged during T-Rex construction,
eliminating the sloping landscape and replacing it with
retaining walls along both sides of I-25. We are
now running parallel and directly
adjacent to I-25 on the west side.
Two tracks, center platform. Located and centered
directly beneath the Louisiana Ave. bridge over I-25.
Features one canopy secured by suspension cables from
towers at the southbound end, the only exposed part of
the station. The north end of the station is
covered by a roof known as the Louisiana Lid, forming a
plaza. This roof is shaped as a rhombus, extending
along Buchtel Blvd. from the intersection of Louisiana
Ave. and Washington St. out to just past the light rail
tracks parallel to I-25, which passes both streets at a
45-degree angle. The Louisiana Ave. bridge
features extra wide sidewalks and an additional drop-off
lane in each direction. Glass-enclosed elevators
on each side provide access to the light rail station,
as do stairs. There is
no parking available at this
Denver Two tracks, center platform along
with an outside southbound platform. Located on
Buchtel Blvd. west of University Blvd. adjacent to a
Park ĎníRide garage. As its name suggests, this
station serves the DU campus; however announcements
refer to it as simply, University. Features
gable-shaped canopies secured by suspension cables from
Just before Colorado Blvd., the line
leaves the I-25 alignment, following the off ramp from
southbound I-25 and passes beneath Colorado Blvd. via
tunnel. It proceeds in an open cut to the Colorado
Two tracks and two side platforms joined by a
pedestrian bridge. Accessed by stairs and
elevator. Located in the open cut parallel to
Evans Ave. at Colorado Center Drive, east of the
intersection of Evans Ave. and Colorado Blvd.
Parking is available at the adjacent lot on the south
side. This lot was used to store heavy equipment
during construction, and also served as headquarters for
the Southeast Corridorís contractor.
Leaving Colorado Blvd., the line
curves southeast and rejoins the I-25 alignment just
before the Evans Ave. bridge.
Two tracks, center platform. Located just north
of Yale Ave. Accessed by stairs and a long
ADA ramp on the west side of the station. Limited
parking is available.
Continuing south, the line crosses
over Yale Avenue on separate bridges for each track and
tunnels beneath Hampden Ave.
Two tracks, center platform. Located south of
Hampden Ave. A pedestrian tunnel under I-25
provides access from the Park Ďn Ride lot of the same
name on the east side. Elevator access is
South of the Southmoor station, there
is a middle track with wye connections at each end.
This track can accommodate one four-car train and is
used for short turns and layups. The line
continues south and just after passing beneath Quincy
line branches off at the I-25/I-225 junction to the
I-225 spur while the
line joins the
Instead of crossing at grade, the tracks separate and
meet at flying junctions. It was built this way to
minimize delays because all three legs of the wye see
regular service. All turnouts at this flying
junction permit 35 mph diverging speeds.
Belleview Two tracks, center
platform along with an outside southbound platform .
Located north of Belleview Ave. and just south of the
Union Ave. bridge over I-25. Access is provided by
stairs and elevator from the westbound side of the Union
Ave. bridge. Parking is available off Quebec
Two tracks, center platform. Located north of
Orchard Road. Has angular canopies similar
to those at the Englewood station on the Southwest
Corridor. Accessible from the east side of I-25
via pedestrian bridge. Also accessible on foot
from the west side, but all boarding is from the center
platform only. Elevators and stairs provide access
to the stationís boarding area. Limited parking is
The line crosses over Orchard Road on
a graceful, sweeping bridge.
Arapahoe at Village Center
Two tracks, center
platform. Same canopy type as Orchard Rd.
Located north of Arapahoe Road beneath the Yosemite
Street bridge over I-25. Announcements refer to this
station as simply, Arapahoe. Originally, Yosemite St.
was offset at Arapahoe Road due to its close proximity
to I-25. Motorists using Yosemite St. had to take
Arapahoe Road a short distance under I-25 to continue
their journey. Increasing traffic in the early 80s
led to the construction of a separate bridge,
alleviating snarls. A pedestrian bridge over I-25
provides access to the Park ní Ride located directly
across the highway from the station. Elevators and
stairs provide access to the station platform. The
station can also be accessed from Fiddlerís Green
parkway to the west.
The line crosses over Arapahoe Road
and Dry Creek Road on bridges. Like the Yale Ave.
bridge, the Dry Creek Road bridge has separate trackways
for each track in much the same manner as an elevated
subway line in New York.
Two tracks, center platform.
Same canopy type as at Orchard and Arapahoe Rd.
Located south of Dry Creek Road adjacent to a parking
garage. Access is also available from the east
side of I-25 via pedestrian bridge that was completed in
the spring of 2007 after the line opened. Elevators and
stairs provide access to the stationís boarding area.
Originally there was no exit from I-25 to Dry Creek
Road, mainly because Dry Creek Road itself ended at
Yosemite Street. An exit was added in the early
The line crosses over County Line
Road on a long bridge.
Two tracks, center platform. Located south of
County Line Road overlooking Park Meadows Mall.
Access is from the east side of I-25 via pedestrian
bridge. Elevators and stairs provide access to the
stationís boarding area. Initially there was no
access from Park Meadows. This will change in the
The line crosses over E-470 and
underneath connecting ramps at the I-25/C-470/E-470
Lincoln Ave. Two tracks, center
platform along with an outside southbound platform.
Located Ĺ mile north of Lincoln Ave. A six-story
parking garage is located adjacent to the station.
The tracks continue south for 1000 feet and end at
bumper posts. A pedestrian bridge across I-25
provides access from San Luis Street on the east side of