(State of Colorado)


9. Sharing the road


9.3. Light rail

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) has added Light Rail Transit (LRT) to its bus fleet in the Denver Metropolitan area. Light Rail Vehicles (LRV’s) are six axle, articulated, bidirectional rail vehicles powered by 750 volts DC from an overhead catenary wire. Clean, quiet and reliable, light rail is safe, proven technology - but it requires additional attention from pedestrians and motorists.

In some areas, LRV's will operate on streets in the same way as other motor vehicles, and will have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. In other areas (such as on Stout and California streets in downtown Denver) LRV's will operate in the opposite direction from other traffic. The LRV's will be governed by all traffic signals and signs when operating on the streets.


- LRV's are very quiet so when approaching a light rail line stop, look, and listen in both directions (even on one way streets).

- Do not step on the rails as they can be very slippery.

- Never climb between two LRV's that are hooked together.


Each light rail car can weigh up to 40 tons and therefore cannot stop quickly. Remember these important tips while driving in a light rail area:

- Never turn in front of an approaching LRV.

- Never turn across a set of light rail tracks without checking in all directions.

- Watch for people getting on and off a stopped LRV.

- Be especially alert in light rail areas as nearby buildings and foliage can make it difficult for motorists to see them.

- The light rail crossing areas for motorists can have regular traffic lights. Some have warning lights and some have gates with railroad type traffic arms. All these signals mean the same thing:

- Never drive around traffic gates, even if a LRV has just passed. Another vehicle may be coming from the other direction.

- Be aware of your vehicle height. Overhead wires are a standard height of 18 feet, 6 inches above the center of the tracks.

- Always assume a wire hanging from the overhead catenary is HOT (electrified) so never touch the wire or anything it is in contact with.


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