Snagged power line interrupts A-Line service to airport

Service restored following nearly 8-hour outage
Posted at 7:35 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 21:35:02-04

DENVER -- Full service has been restored on RTD's University of Colorado A-Line.

It was interrupted Thursday morning when the spring-mounted pantograph, on top of a rail car, snagged the power line and snapped it in two.

The resulting power outage lasted several hours.

RTD spokesman Scott Reed said buses were pressed into service to ferry passengers back and forth between Central Park Station and Denver International Airport. 

Trains continued to operate between Union Station and Central Park Station, but the resulting delays frustrated some passengers.

"We have a flight to catch," said Velma Herrera, while pushing a stroller. "We hope we make it." 

Other passengers, like Baila Klein, took the downed power line in stride.

"I'm getting used to things going wrong with the damn train," Klein said. "I was on the first one that [got stranded on the overpass]. We were taken off by the fire department."

Josh Brodbeck, who was traveling from DIA to downtown, told Denver7 that the delays would likely make him miss a meeting.

"I don't know if I'm going to get there in time, or not," he said. "I've used this train dozens of times over the last several months...never had a problem. Today is the first time."

Reed said power line snags aren't common, but they do occasionally happen.

He said the metal on the pantograph glides against the bare metal of the power line, sometimes at 79 miles per hour.  He said the friction can cause wear and tear.


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