By now most transit geeks around the country already know about FasTracks, Denver’s ambitious transit expansion plan that will add to the Front Range over 100 miles of new rail service. It’s a cool plan (though imperfect – too oriented for suburban commuters), and it will vault Denver far above most other flyover country cities in what The Overhead Wire dubs “the transit space race”.
Washingtonians shouldn’t be jealous of FasTracks, though. Denver post-FasTracks still won’t be as well served by transit as Washington is already, never mind the future. FasTracks is a huge improvement, but it’s no Metrorail, and the fact is we’re doing almost as much expansion as Denver, with the Silver and Purple lines, streetcars, and MARC service improvements.
The plans for Denver’s Union Station (pdf – 7 MB) are, like FasTracks itself, cool but imperfect. The light rail platforms are too far from the commuter rail platforms, for example. But there’s one aspect of the FasTracks plan for Denver’s Union Station that has BeyondDC absolutely drooling. Check this out:
That train shed is going to be magnificent. What an experience standing there will be! It will be utterly unique in North America. Washington may use its space more efficiently, but our bunker of a platform area pales in aesthetic terms.
Good going, Denver.