Who's on Board to Be the New Voice of the Airport Train?

Who delayed the departure of this train?
Who's the boss? When it comes to the stern voices at Denver International Airport advising that "YOU are delaying the departure of this train," it could be Alan Roach, the former Colorado Rockies announcer, or longtime 9News anchor Adele Arakawa, who retired to Phoenix this summer.

They are only the second pair of announcers in the 22-year history of the airport train; the first were Pete Smythe, the folksy personality who’s flown up to that great radio mic in the sky, and Reynelda Muse, Denver’s first female African-American anchor, who relocated to Indiana soon after being chosen for the august airport honor.

Those instructions are part of “Train Call,” a piece commissioned by the city in 1994 for $29,700 from Denver-based sound artist Jim Green; the work also includes the merry music of dozens of chimes. Since the airport secured the rights from Green to record new messages, various celebrities have welcomed visitors to Colorado — but so far, only four voices have issued those bossy orders.

With their last announcers departing Colorado and their big expansion plans passing through Denver City Council, airport officials can now turn their attention to choosing new voices for the train, finding the right people to represent the state — people who might even stick around.

And so this week, the airport announced that it is now looking for "The Voice." Here's the fine print:

The airport is launching a competition among local television and radio station personalities to select one man and one woman to be the new voices of the "Train Call" on the train that takes passengers to the concourses.

The airport is seeking initial nominations from Denver television and radio stations. From there, the airport will form a selection committee made up of representatives from airport, art, tourism and local government stakeholders. This committee will narrow the pool of candidates to the top men and women, and those finalists will be featured on a website that will open for a public vote. Upon approval from the DEN CEO, the man and woman with the most votes will be invited to a professional recording session and become the new voices of the airport train!

Who is eligible?
· The contest is open to full-time reporters and anchors who cover news, sports or weather at any Denver television or radio station
· Candidates must have at least seven years of experience in the Denver media market and be a respected personality within the Colorado news, weather or sports communities
· Candidates must exemplify Colorado and reflect Colorado values that would represent the airport, city and state well
· Self-nominations will not be accepted! Nominations must be submitted on behalf of each station’s management.
· Official rules are posted at

What do you need to provide?

To participate, please email a headshot, a short bio up to 150 words, and an audio MP3 file containing a reading of the full script below to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Nov. 30. Please include the subject line “Train Call Nomination.” Participating stations may submit multiple nominations and are encouraged to provide both male and female candidates. Additional details about online voting will be released later.

Audio script

“Hello, and welcome to Denver International Airport.”
“Board here for all ‘A, B and C Gates'”
“The doors are closing, please keep clear and hold on for departure to all A gates”
“Please hold on, we are approaching the station for all A gates”
“A train is arriving. Please keep clear and hold on for departure to all B gates”
“Board here for all A gates, terminal, ground transportation and baggage claim”
“This is the terminal. All passengers please exit and follow signs to ground transportation and baggage claim”
We're a bit disappointed to see that the audio script includes most of the same dull messages that have marked "Train Call" since the airport opened in 1995, though we're also thrilled not to see "YOU are delaying the departure of this train."

But perhaps the airport is saving that for the finals.

We recently came up with our own suggestions for five new, much more useful train messages: