Sunday, October 30, 2016

Our Tax Dollars at Work

On our recent trip to Denver, we took a ride on the new electric line to the airport.   I couldn't help but notice that at every grade crossing there are nice new four-quadrant gates, but there are also at least two flagmen, one on each side, to flag the crossing.  As the train passes, the flagman is standing there in front of the gates, holding a stop sign or a red flag, although there's no way you could drive around the gates.  What a waste of time and money!  Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good picture because of the screens in the windows.

But wait, it gets better.


The same thing is true on the line to Arvada, even though it isn't open yet and no trains are running.   There are flagmen (or women) stationed at every grade crossing, waiting to flag non-existent trains.  So they just sit in their lawn chairs all day.  And our cousins who live there say they are there 24 hours a day!  Nice work if you can get it.  Who ever thought this was a good idea?!?

7 comments:

Patrick Cunningham, CISM, FAI said...

Apparently the signal and crossing work was done by the same outfit that did the airport's original failed baggage system.//sarcasm// http://www.denverpost.com/2016/05/10/denver-airport-train-faces-safety-concerns-amid-crossing-gate-glitches/

Steven Iversen said...

The reason they have the crossing guards is to fold. On a large portion of the route parallels a freight line. Due to the difference in speed between the RTA electric commuter line and the freight, the computer controled gate system gets confused as to how soon to lower the gates. There is also the learning curve for motorest, driving around the gates.
Steve Iversen

Randall Hicks said...

Maybe that's what they say, Steve, but those arguments sound awfully weak to me. 1) The crossing gates on the Burlington here in Naperville have no trouble dealing with trains moving at any speed. It's not rocket science. 2) There's a "learning curve" for motorists not to drive around the gates? How many failed attempts do they get?

M E Moyano said...

Sometimes the gates do not operate as intended; not coming down like they are suppose to, coming down for no apparent reason, and sometimes not going up like they should. The FRA has given RTD until November 5th to fix the issue (They were already granted a waiver). After that date, who knows what is going to happen. Rumors have been circulating about the line closing down until the matter is resolved. The G line to Arvada has the same system in place, and RTD feels that they will delay the opening of that line until the A line matter is corrected. Someone told me it was just a transit company trying to play railroad!!

Anonymous said...

Say, are the new barns all done and fully occupied yet? With Winter almost here, it would be nice to hear that more cars are under cover.

PS. You could title the post, "our donation dollars at work."

Randall Hicks said...

Your donation dollars are indeed at work. The new barns are nearly full, with a few empty slots as equipment continues to get shuffled around. I was just in Barn 14 the other day, and I could take some pictures of all the equipment stored there if you like.

M E Moyano said...

Another reprieve. http://www3.rtd-denver.com/elbert/news/index.cfm?id=9008