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RTD Board Takes Close Look At Problems With New Commuter Train To DIA

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) - When it runs, it runs fine, but too often for the transit system's liking there have been problems on the new commuter train A Line.

Monday night a breaker went out cutting service from 40th Avenue and Airport Road to Denver International Airport for a 30-minute disruption. The Regional Transportation District established what it calls a "bus bridge" to handle the gap.

Members of the RTD board like Claudia Folska have been fielding questions about why so many problems.

A Line RTD Train Breaks Down
(credit: CBS)

"We here at RTD pride ourselves number one on safety," Folska said. "That's our number one concern. What we have on the A Line is completely new technology."

In May lightning severed a cable, disrupting A Line service. Then passengers had to walk on an elevated portion of the track to waiting buses. Two board members told CBS4's Rick Sallinger the latest stoppage was also caused by lightning.

Other electric commuter lines have suffered lightning-related disruptions as well, including in Tokyo, Japan.

The DIA rail service started late April. The month of May was marked with problems. RTD has said contractors likely would not receive their maximum payments for the month due to the service disruptions.

A Line RTD
(credit: CBS)

RTD board members are now meeting in hopes of learning more about the A Line problems.

"All of our staff is working night and day with their heart and soul," Folska told CBS4.

The A Line was built in conjunction with Denver Transit Partners, which did not return calls from CBS4.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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