RTD names Ashland Vaughn as project manager for FasTracks North Metro Rail Line

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DENVER — Veteran Regional Transportation District manager Ashland Vaughn has been named prject manager for construction of the RTD FasTracks North Metro Rail Line, as of Jan. 12.


Vaughn brings more than 25 years of civil engineering experience to his new role as he succeeds Jim Starling, who is heading to San Diego to lead new Jacobs Engineering construction projects.

With a target opening date in 2018, the 18.5-mile North Metro Rail Line will serve Denver’s northern suburbs through Colorado Highway 7 in north Adams County. 

For the past three years, he served as construction manager of the FasTracks Eagle P3 project, which comprises the East Rail Line to Denver International Airport, the Gold Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge and the first segment of the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster. 

Vaughn also led field and construction engineering projects and worked in project management on the Southwest and West light rail lines and the Convention Center expansion among other projects.

All of his projects were completed on time and on budget, a trend Vaughn said he plans to continue on the North Metro Rail Line.

“I’m excited and humbled to step into this challenging role to carry the North Metro Rail Line forward into construction and operation,” Vaughn said. “I look forward to working with the talented team already assembled on this project.” 

A key component of the North Metro Line will be coordination with the Eagle P3 project because there are many common elements to RTD’s commuter rail lines. All will rely on the same type of railcars, a new commuter rail maintenance facility, common signal and electrical components and a single contractor to operate the trains once the lines open.

“Ashland’s experience on the Eagle P3 project will be invaluable as North Metro Rail gets underway,” said RTD Assistant General Manager of Capital Programs Rick Clarke. 

“Along with his valuable experience, Vaughn holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in civil engineering and is a registered professional engineer. He has all of the qualifications to lead the challenging and exciting North Metro project,” Clarke said. 

RTD selected Regional Rail Partners (RRP) to design and build North Metro Rail through 124th Avenue as a first phase, with options to extend it farther as funds become available.

On Nov. 26, 2013, the RTD Board of Directors approved a $343 million plan to build the first phase of the electrified commuter rail line and RTD issued a Notice to Proceed to RRP on Dec. 13, 2013. RRP is committed to opening the project to the public by 2018. 

Groundbreaking on the project is scheduled to happen March 20.