The start of your next international escape or regional jaunt is only a train ride away. Hop aboard the Denver Airport Train from Union Station to access flights around the state, country and world!
Although it’s often considered part of the Denver Light Rail, it’s actually a separate commuter rail line, the first in Colorado. It’s both faster, heavier, and bigger than Light Rail trains, powered by overhead electric. It reaches speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour.
Unlike most light rail trains, you’ll board the A Line on level service, so you can wheel on luggage without worrying about stairs. Hopefully you scored some cheap air tickets, and found a place cool to go.
All aboard the RTD Rail A Line – from downtown to DIA
Using Denver’s RTD Light Rail or Bus system, you can leave your car at home and find a ride to Union Station from all over the metro area. Once in downtown Denver, a train ride to the Denver International Airport takes around thirty minutes. Many trips run throughout the day, every day, unaffected by area traffic. The A-Line trains even have a plow blade if needed to move snow from the tracks.
The RTD Rail line to the Denver International Airport is called the University of Colorado A Line. It takes 37 minutes to reach the airport from Union Station. Trains depart every 15 or 30 minutes, with frequent service all day. It only closes briefly in the middle of the night. Hours are below.
The airport train station opened on April 22, 2016, offering the first train rides to the Denver Airport from downtown. It was built as a public-private partnership, between the RTD and Denver Transit Partners.
When does it start and stop running?
During the peak airport hours, which start at 3:15am, the train runs every fifteen minutes. In the evening it’s every thirty minutes. The train does close for the night, but for less than 3 hours until it wakes up again. The Denver Airport Train schedule is:
Every day – The first train leaves Union Station at 3:15 am for the airport. They run every 15 minutes until 6pm.
Sunday to Thursday – After 6pm they run every 30 minutes until the last one departs Union Station at 12:30am. The last return from the airport leaves for downtown at 1:07am.
Friday to Saturday – After 6pm they run every 30 minutes until the last one departs Union Station at 1:00am. The last return from the airport leaves at 1:37am.
Times are subject to change. Holidays may affect times.
How much does it cost?
A 24 hour pass, which is good for all the RTD trains and buses runs $9. Once you arrive at a touch screen device at the station, just choose Airport Pass and get your ticket good on all RTD public transportation, within the greater Denver metro for the day.
Pay for your fare, in advance. Attendants regularly check passenger tickets, usually twice per one-way trip. If caught, they feed you to Blucifer, the red-eyed, blue mustang guarding DIA.
Departing from Denver Union Station
If you arrive to Union Station via connecting Light Rail or bus, chances are you’ll be to the side of Union Station, at the Union Station Transit Center. The airport train picks up at the back of Union Station, so you’ll need to walk the 5 to 10 minutes across the way. If it’s cold or raining, you can also walk underground via the bus concourse and rise up via stairs or elevator to exactly where you need to be out back of Union Station.
Assuming you already have your ticket, good for 24 hours, just hop on the A Line, otherwise be sure to pick a ticket up before you board. You can see electric display signs above the track, letting you know how long until the next train departs for the airport.
Stations and parking on route
There are several brief stops along the way, in case you happen to live closer to the airport than Union Station, of park your car at the station. It stops by 6 stations on the way to the airport, all of which have parking. There 4,300+ total spaces used by commuters and travelers.
Parking at RTD park n Ride is only $2 a day for in-district residents. Plus the first 24 hours are free if you live inside the RTD district. If you live outside it’s $4 a day. All parking is pre-paid before you board the train.
1. Union Station
- Connecting rail lines: E, C, W light rail; B, G (coming soon), N (coming soon)
- Connecting bus routes: Free MallRide, Free Metro Ride, local and regional bus service out of the Union Station Bus Concourse
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 37 minutes
2. 38th & Blake
- Address: 3737 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205
- Car Parking: 200
- Bike Parking: 6 bike lockers and 10 racks
- Connecting bus routes: 12, 44
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 33 minutes
3. 40th & Colorado
- Address: 4220 Garfield St, Denver, CO 80216
- Car Parking: 200
- Bike Parking: 12 bike lockers and 18 racks
- Connecting bus routes: 24, 37 , 40, 44
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 28 minutes
4. Central Park
- Address: 8175 E. Smith Rd, Denver, CO 80238
- Car Parking: 1,500
- Motorcycle Parking: 34
- Bike Parking: 8 bike lockers and 14 racks
- Connecting bus routes: 28, 34, 37, 42, 43, 65, 73, 88, 89, 105
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 25 minutes
- Address: 11501 E. 33rd Ave, Aurora, CO 80010
- Car Parking: 550
- Bike Parking: 10 bike lockers and 10 racks
- Connecting rail lines: R Line (late 2016)
- Connecting bus routes: 37, 45, 121, 153
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 21 minutes
6. 40th Ave & Airport Blvd – Gateway Park
- Address: 3900 North Salida Street, Aurora, CO 80011
- Car Parking: 1,079
- Connecting bus routes: 37, 42, 45, 121, 169
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 16 minutes
7. 61st & Pena
- Address:6195 N. Panasonic Way, Denver, CO, accessible via 61st and Tower Road
- Car Parking: 800 managed by D.I.A. so pricier than other stops
- Connecting bus routes: none
- Travel time to Denver Airport Station: 11 Minutes
8. Denver Airport
- Parking: Available at multiple lots, pricing determined by the airport.
- Connecting bus routes: AA, AB, AT, 145X, and 169L
Arriving at Denver Airport Transit Center
When you arrive at Denver International Airport, you’ll do so at the Airport Transit Center. From here it’s only a few minutes walk to the main airport terminal. You can ride the escalators or elevator up to just outside front doors of the the terminal.
You’ll enter D.I.A. on the security and baggage claim floor. You’ll need to head up one more floor to check-in, if needed. Then back down to go through security.
Depending on your gate: A, B, or C; you’ll catch the concourse shuttle train to it once past security. From here, just await boarding before departure on your next unforgettable journey. If you booked a flight to another transportation friendly city, such as San Francisco, you’ll never need to step food in a car to enjoy your vacation.