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R-Line in Aurora expected to resume service in coming weeks

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Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-19 12:35:06-05

DENVER — Two months after an RTD light-rail train derailed in Aurora, the R-Line is expected to resume service in the coming weeks, the city announced Saturday.

The city of Aurora said trains will resume service along the R-Line the week of Nov. 28. An exact date was not given.

Three people were injured Sept. 21 after an RTD light rail train derailed as it navigated a curve at the intersection of South Sable Boulevard and East Exposition Avenue.

This was the second derailment in the area in the past four years. In January 2019, one person was injured when an R-Line train derailed on the same set of tracks.

Since 2019’s incident, RTD vowed to, for example, increase testing for new operators and install radar-based speed monitoring signs along several routes, which flash at operators if they are speeding, according to Colorado Public Utilities Commission documents. One of those signs was visible at the scene of the September crash.

RTD has shed very little light as to the cause of September’s crash or why it has taken so long to make repairs to the R-Line. Shuttle buses between the line’s stops were discontinued in October.

Disruptions to the R-Line service came as a surprise to some commuters. Shane Jenkins told Denver7 in October that he planned to use RTD transit to travel from Denver International Airport to RTD's Lincoln Station. He anticipated the trip would take about an hour and a half.

"When I got to the station of the airport, I thought, ‘compared to a $120 Uber ride, I'll just take the $10 light rail,’" he said in October. "It ended up being nearly three hours of trying to get back home."

Jenkins was unaware of the September derailment incident and its subsequent impacts.

A service alert on the Regional Transportation District’s website still says “until further notice” as to when the line will resume operations.