Congressman Mike Coffman's Chief of Staff and Senator Cory Gardner's Regional Director Tour New RTD Maintenance Facility, Discuss Rail & Transit Issues
Thursday, May 5, 2016
by: Lindsey Collins
Section: 2016 NRC Grassroots Events
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Denver, Colo. – On May 3, U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman’s Chief of Staff and U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s Regional Director joined the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) and the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association, Inc. (REMSA) for a tour of a new commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF), a project that was completed by NRC and REMSA joint member company, Balfour Beatty Rail, as a part of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Eagle P3 Commuter Rail project managed by Denver Transit Partners (DTP).
Davie McCulloch, DTP Deputy Project Manager, gave an overview of Balfour Beatty Rail and their operations. Balfour Beatty Rail, a division of Balfour Beatty Infrastructure (BBII), is a rail infrastructure contractor specializing in construction and maintenance services for public and private railroad markets. In July 2015, BBII was awarded a $140 million contract to extend Denver’s light-rail line to its southeast suburbs. This project is BBII’s fifth major contact with RTD, representing over $3.6 billion of work for the transit agency.
“Balfour Beatty Infrastructure has enjoyed partnering with RTD in the development of the Eagle P3 project,” said Mr. McCulloch. “We are proud to be a part of the team that delivered the nation’s first transit public-private partnership to improve mobility throughout the Denver community.”
Mr. McCulloch gave a tour of the CRMF, which is used to maintain, clean, and store the vehicles that will serve the University A Line, and the future B and G lines. The A Line opened to the public on Friday, April 22, and now runs from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport in 37 minutes. The B Line to Westminster and G Line to Wheat Ridge will open in summer and fall of this year, respectively.
Approximately 220 operators, mechanics, and other staff will be housed in the 230,000-square-foot facility. The CRMF can service up to 80 electric rail cars and is equipped with state-of-the-art training and conference rooms, staff break rooms, and lockers. The group was led to the Operations Control Center (OCC), which acts as the brain of the commuter rail network with train dispatch, public announcement and security systems, positive train control, and radio communication.
“The LEED Gold-certified CRMF is something we are proud of,” said Executive Project Director and CEO of DTP, Aaron Epstein. “The 230,000-sqaure-foot facility’s sustainable features were evaluated based on the lasting impact they would have on the CRMF itself as well as on the local community.”
As a part of their Grassroots Program, the NRC and REMSA highlight the work of their members to public policy officials. The group discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network which, unlike other modes of freight transportation, does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its network. Additionally, the group advocated for support of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which would make the Short Line Tax credit permanent.
“Our contractors and suppliers rely on healthy freight and transit networks for their success,” said Collins and Winkler in a joint statement. “We look forward to engaging the Colorado Congressional Delegation on important public policy issues to our members.”
Mr. Ben Stein, Chief of Staff, U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman
Mr. Jorge Delgado, Regional Director, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner
Mr. Scott Reed, Assistant GM for Communications, RTD
Mr. Aaron Epstein, CEO, Denver Transit Partners
Mr. Davie McCulloch, Deputy Project Manager, Denver Transit Partners
Ms. Nadia Garas, Project Communications Manager, Denver Transit Partners
Mr. Sean Winkler, Grassroots Coordinator, REMSA
Ms. Lindsey Collins, VP of Grassroots Advocacy at NRC