A couple weeks ago was the opening day of being able to take the A-line train from Union Station to DEN Airport. I got a chance to be one of the first riders, and also got to partake in a free journey offer in celebration of opening day. Even though it’s a few weeks since the opening day (and a few weeks since I covered the announcement of the grand opening), hopefully this blog will help you navigate the new A Line train from Union Station to DEN Airport (and possibly back again).
Catching the train from Union Station to DEN Airport
Dave and I got to Union Station with plenty of time to spare, since we didn’t know how the opening day festivities might disrupt timely service. The city was actually offering free rides to the airport – we kind of laughed at the prospect of people taking a “family outing” from Union Station to DEN Airport. But then, when we got there, we were stopped by a wall of people, all lined up to take the train!
There was also a welcoming tent, where riders could learn more, get directions to the train, and pick up pamphlets about the route. We bypassed the tent and went straight for the line. We had over 3 hours to make our flight to LAX, but didn’t want to test it.
We talked to some folks in line (we were in the spillover line 4 rows back from the train, winding all the way back to the Union Station entrance) about what brought them to to ride the train from Union Station to DEN Airport. There was another business traveler from out of state who just happened to be going to the airport that day, and heard about the train and decided to try it out. There was also a family with 4 children, and they were all going to ride to the airport and back. They had packed a picnic lunch for the way. There was an older retired couple who thought it would make a fund date. Then there were random single riders who just wanted to check it out. It kind of blew our minds, that people would want to do this for fun.
We waited for just less than 30 minutes – the line moved very quickly once a train pulled up, which was every 15 minutes.
And then the train approached!
Getting from Union Station to DEN Airport
We just missed the first train, but apparently two pulled in at the same time, so after the first train was boarded, they started to wind more of the line towards the second train, on an adjacent track.
They loaded from the conductor car to the back, and had the people at the front of the line (us) walk the farthest to the front of the train. We snapped a pic prior to leaving the station.
The train took 37 minutes, about the same time it would take to drive with light traffic. It was relaxing, pleasant, and took us through the interesting scenery, including the back-view of Coors Field:
Here was the pic of the approach to DEN Airport from an unusual angle:
We knew we were getting close.
And here is a pic when were pulling in to the station, with the iconic Westin Hotel in the background:
The train disembarked quickly, and we actually were some of the first folks in to the airport since the nose of the train (which we were in) pulled in closest to the entrance.
On our way out from the train to the main terminal, we noticed the time capsule placard:
I was excited for the escalator ride upstairs.
And also catching some great shots of the airport’s architecture.
We had some time to kill, so when we got to the top of escalator, we decided to mill around the area in front of the Westin Hotel (which I covered the opening of also). We walked around by the main stage where they had a kick-off ceremony earlier in the day:
And also got some cool shots of the railroad tracks and shelter.
There was also artwork surrounding the train terminal, a lot of the industrial aesthetic, but also some high-tech blades of grass:
We decided to head in to the Jeppeson Main Terminal and make our way through the main security areas, towards the secret security line in Terminal A (which you would already know about through the tripchi airport app). We made it through quickly with plenty of time to grab dinner prior to our trip to LA.
Opening day from Union Station to the DEN Airport was a smashing success. We liked it so much, that we even rode the train back again on our return trip. Here’s to trains!