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Want to Be the Voice of the Airport Train? Speak Up Now!

Want to Be the Voice of the Airport Train? Speak Up Now!
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There's no time to delay if you want to be the next voice of "Train Call" at Denver International Airport...and happen to be a "Denver media friend" with at least seven years of experience in the market. The deadline for applicants is today, November 30.

"Train Call" is the name of the public-art piece that comprises not just the twee soundtrack on the airport train, but the bossy instructions given to passengers, including the classic "YOU are delaying the departure of this train." Earlier this month, the airport announced that it was seeking "two new signature voices" to record those messages.

"The current instructional audio messages about train operations and wayfinding are voiced by longtime KUSA anchor Adele Arakawa and former Coors Field announcer and broadcaster Alan Roach," the airport announced. "Other past voices of the concourse train system include former Denver anchorwoman Reynelda Muse, and the late radio and television personality Pete Smythe. It’s been awhile since we made a change, so it’s time to once again refresh the voices that follow the iconic train chimes."

In fact, there have been only four voices on the train since the airport opened in 1995 (not including those final welcome messages, which are now made by an assortment of local personalities and change frequently). After Smythe passed on and Muse moved away, Roach and Arakawa got the nod back in 2006, when Roach was indeed the Coors Field announcer. But he soon left that gig to become the public announcer for the Denver Broncos, a job he held until he was tapped as the voice of the Minnesota Vikings in 2016, a "dream job" since he's from Minnesota and has always been a Vikings fan.

Alan Roach left the Denver Broncos, not Denver.
Alan Roach left the Denver Broncos, not Denver.

But Roach is still a resident of Denver, where he's lived since 1990; he travels to Minnesota eleven times a year for the Vikings gig, while still doing announcement duties for the Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Avalanche and other local entities. And for that reason, Roach is fighting to remain one of the voices of the train. "I'm gonna win this thing," he says. (Watch for a Facebook Live with Roach at about 1:30 p.m. today.)

For everyone who would like to take Roach's place (or Arakawa's, since the airport wants to keep one male and one female voice), here's DIA's explanation of how it will work:

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 the 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 Flydenver.com

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 media@flydenver.com 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”

Note that "YOU are delaying the departure of the train" is not included in the tryout script. According to airport spokesman Heath Montgomery, some passengers love that message, some hate it. (Roach says that he gets a lot of comments about it.) But after some discussion, the airport has decided to put that particular line out to pasture.

Want to apply? Start talking...fast.

Want to support Roach's quest instead? Tune in to his Facebook Live, and then get ready to voice your choice for the new train voice when Denver International Airport announces those rules for online voting. In the meantime, you can find out more at flydenver.com.

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