DENVER — Global supply-chain delays are the latest factor wreaking havoc with Denver International Airport’s plans to expand the capacity of the underground train system that links its terminal and concourses.
DIA confirmed Thursday that 26 new train cars originally slated for delivery beginning in early 2021 — both to replace old cars and expand the system — now won’t arrive until next year.
The Automated Guideway Transit System has grown more crowded during DIA’s fast pandemic recovery, and by the end of the year, the last of 39 new gates are expected to be finished on the three concourses. Those new gates will only increase passenger use of the train system over time.
“This delay was not welcome news,” airport CEO Phil Washington said in a news release. “We are aware of the issues that our aging train cars are having and our crews are doing the best they can to keep these cars and associated systems in working condition for the comfort of passengers.”
The 27-year-old airport’s train system has 31 cars. DIA plans to use 16 new cars to replace those that are past-due for retirement, while the remaining 10 will expand the system’s capacity. That will mean running an extra four-car train initially, with the eventual use of longer trains enabled by the newer cars’ design.