DENVER – Plans are in the works to increase capacity and reliability of the underground trains that ferry passengers between concourses at Denver International Airport.
Those trains just suffered a sensor issue last week that caused delays as passengers arrived at the airport during Wednesday morning’s Thanksgiving travel rush.
The Denver City Council on Monday will consider one part of the airport’s plans – a new operations contract for Bombardier Transportation Holdings USA, the current train operator – worth nearly $162 million.
That contract adds 15 new employees, 13 of whom will be devoted to operations and maintenance of the trains, tracks and track switches.
The airport says the additional staff and train cars are necessary as the number of passengers at the airport continues to grow. To meet increased demand, the airport also is planning to spend billions to renovate the Jeppesen Terminal and add additional gates on all three concourses.
The Denver Post reports the airport aims to add 26 train cars to the system, some of which will replace current train cars. That would result in a net increase of 10 cars for a total of 41.
The new train cars would be purchased on a separate contract, the cost of which has not yet been decided the Post reports.
With the current fleet of six four-car trains, wait times between trains are about two minutes. During peak times, the airport adds a seventh train, bringing wait times to 108 seconds.
By adding an eighth train during peak travel periods, the time between trains would drop to 95 seconds.