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A-Line commuter train from Denver Union Station to DEN airport

TheHolleys87

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We’re planning a trip this November that will end in Denver at a hotel across from the Union Station. I’m wondering about the feasibility of three senior adults riding the A-Line to the airport, with luggage in tow. We’ll probably have two or three full size suitcases as well as carryons, which we’d be prepared to manage through the airport, but I haven’t seen any clear information about what riding the train with it would entail. We’ll only be in Denver for a day, so we’re trying to decide whether to rent a car or not. Anyone with experience riding the A-Line to the airport with luggage?

Thanks!
 

Luanne

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No personal experience but some friends took the train from the airport to Union Station with no issues. If you are only in Denver for one day I wouldn't rent a car.
 

TheHolleys87

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No personal experience but some friends took the train from the airport to Union Station with no issues. If you are only in Denver for one day I wouldn't rent a car.
Thanks! Did they say anything about handling luggage? Is there a place to stow the larger pieces during the trip? The RTD website says there are overhead bins (not practical for checked-size) and also mentions a place for larger items “like skis and snowboards” (that in my mind stand up leaning against a wall) - not sure that it accommodates suitcases!
 

Luanne

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Thanks! Did they say anything about handling luggage? Is there a place to stow the larger pieces during the trip? The RTD website says there are overhead bins (not practical for checked-size) and also mentions a place for larger items “like skis and snowboards” (that in my mind stand up leaning against a wall) - not sure that it accommodates suitcases!
I don't think they mentioned anything about luggage storage. They were only in Denver for a week I don't think they had much luggage and they are younger than I am, like in their early 50's.
 

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We’ll probably have two or three full size suitcases as well as carryons, which we’d be prepared to manage through the airport,
If you arrive on the 'B' or 'C' concourses, you will have to take elevators/escalators down to the train to the main terminal then back up, walk to different elevators/escaltors, then back down to rental car shuttles or the RTD A-line train.

If you can manage the airport train from the concourse to the main terminal, you can manage the trip on the A-line to downtown. It will be MUCH more convenient than rental car shuttle, waiting in line for car, finding parking in downtown Denver, then the reverse hassle to return the rental car. There are steps into and out of Union Station, but there is sure to be handicap accessible ramps for wheeled luggage.

Here is a picture I found online for the luggage storage area on the RTD A-line train cars.
 

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TheHolleys87

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If you arrive on the 'B' or 'C' concourses, you will have to take elevators/escalators down to the train to the main terminal then back up, walk to different elevators/escaltors, then back down to rental car shuttles or the RTD A-line train.

If you can manage the airport train from the concourse to the main terminal, you can manage the trip on the A-line to downtown. It will be MUCH more convenient than rental car shuttle, waiting in line for car, finding parking in downtown Denver, then the reverse hassle to return the rental car. There are steps into and out of Union Station, but there is sure to be handicap accessible ramps for wheeled luggage.

Here is a picture I found online for the luggage storage area on the RTD A-line train cars.
Thank you so much for the photo! We could handle that. We’ll be traveling from Union Station to the airport, and I read on the airport website that there’s an area on the level where the train arrives where we can check our luggage before we go up to security and the gates. That would be very convenient!
 

Luanne

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Thank you so much for the photo! We could handle that. We’ll be traveling from Union Station to the airport, and I read on the airport website that there’s an area on the level where the train arrives where we can check our luggage before we go up to security and the gates. That would be very convenient!
I don't know if this service is available at the Denver Union Station, but dh and I used some type of porter service a few years ago where the porter took us, and our luggage on board. He even showed us where the best seats for viewing would be. I was thinking it was at New York Penn Station, but as I think harder it was actually in Montreal.
 

TheHolleys87

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I don't know if this service is available at the Denver Union Station, but dh and I used some type of porter service a few years ago where the porter took us, and our luggage on board. He even showed us where the best seats for viewing would be. I was thinking it was at New York Penn Station, but as I think harder it was actually in Montreal.
Thanks, I appreciate the information. Now we’ve decided to rent a car for the day we’ll be in Denver, so we can explore a little outside the city, and return it at the airport the next morning. Hopefully, riding the rental car shuttle from car drop off to the terminal will be easier, or at least no more difficult, than riding the train!
 

rickandcindy23

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The train is so easy. So easy to get luggage onto the train, too. Downtown Denver can be a nice place to visit. I have not been since the tents went up in the various areas. I have heard from firefighters Rick worked with that some of the areas of downtown are pretty unsavory and buildings have been graffitied and it's a little sketchy. The hotel check-in desk can help you get to areas that have been cleared.

You can also take the train to Golden and uber to a hotel in Lakewood/ Golden.
 

TheHolleys87

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The train is so easy. So easy to get luggage onto the train, too. Downtown Denver can be a nice place to visit. I have not been since the tents went up in the various areas. I have heard from firefighters Rick worked with that some of the areas of downtown are pretty unsavory and buildings have been graffitied and it's a little sketchy. The hotel check-in desk can help you get to areas that have been cleared.

You can also take the train to Golden and uber to a hotel in Lakewood/ Golden.
Great information, thanks! My dad, who’s financing this trip and will be 96 at the time, really wants to drive outside the city (my DH being the actual driver) during the day and have dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange that evening, so I’ve got the train as Plan B for traveling from our downtown hotel to the airport the next morning.
 

rickandcindy23

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Great information, thanks! My dad, who’s financing this trip and will be 96 at the time, really wants to drive outside the city (my DH being the actual driver) during the day and have dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange that evening, so I’ve got the train as Plan B for traveling from our downtown hotel to the airport the next morning.
You can just go directly to Golden from DEN. But that station is kind of in a big open space. I don't go to Golden that often. I can ask our friend who lives very close to the station if a rental car place is nearby. Seems a hotel may have popped up by now. We drive everywhere and don't really look for hotels near the lightrail stations. Renting a car out of Denver airport might be expensive, but it could be convenient for getting around. Most places in Denver do not charge for parking, like Museum and Zoo, both in the same area. If you go to Boettcher or the convention center, parking has a fee. They may have free parking in handicapped spots on the street.
 

TheHolleys87

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You can just go directly to Golden from DEN. But that station is kind of in a big open space. I don't go to Golden that often. I can ask our friend who lives very close to the station if a rental car place is nearby. Seems a hotel may have popped up by now. We drive everywhere and don't really look for hotels near the lightrail stations. Renting a car out of Denver airport might be expensive, but it could be convenient for getting around. Most places in Denver do not charge for parking, like Museum and Zoo, both in the same area. If you go to Boettcher or the convention center, parking has a fee. They may have free parking in handicapped spots on the street.
Thanks, we’re set for hotel in Denver. I appreciate your offer very much, though!
 

Luanne

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Great information, thanks! My dad, who’s financing this trip and will be 96 at the time, really wants to drive outside the city (my DH being the actual driver) during the day and have dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange that evening, so I’ve got the train as Plan B for traveling from our downtown hotel to the airport the next morning.
I was going to say that if you only have one day in Denver that I would just concentrate on Denver. But then I saw that your dad is the one who wants to take a drive outside the city.
 

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and return it at the airport the next morning.
I-70 is under a major rebuild project from I-25 to I-225. To access DIA from downtown Denver, take I-25 north to I-270 east, then join I-70 east to Pena Blvd.

If you are returning the car on a weekday morning, allow a lot of extra time for stop-and-go traffic delays.
 

TheHolleys87

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I-70 is under a major rebuild project from I-25 to I-225. To access DIA from downtown Denver, take I-25 north to I-270 east, then join I-70 east to Pena Blvd.

If you are returning the car on a weekday morning, allow a lot of extra time for stop-and-go traffic delays.
Thank you! If we’re coming from the area around Union Station on a Thursday morning, how much time should we allow? I think we might want to change our flight time!
 

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Thank you! If we’re coming from the area around Union Station on a Thursday morning, how much time should we allow? I think we might want to change our flight time!
I am the type of person who would rather get to my gate an hour early than 10 minutes after they closed the door. If it were me and it was between 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., I would leave the hotel 2 hours before my check-in time plus another hour to check-in, get through security, take the train to the course, and walk to the gate. Taking the train instead would probably save about an hour and 15 minutes of transit and car rental return time.
 
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