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Rail News: Passenger Rail

DART tests light-rail train in Irving, introduces emergency text system

On Monday, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) successfully tested the first light-rail train into Irving, Texas, operating the train along five miles between Bachman Station and the Irving Convention Center in preparation for the July 30 opening of the Orange Line.

The test, which marked the first section of the 14-mile Orange Line, served as a trial run for train movements, the overhead electrical system and vehicle clearances, DART officials said in a prepared statement. The test was performed in advance of the start of integrated testing and safety certification.

DART is scheduled to conduct a similar live-wire test of the five-mile Blue Line extension from Downtown Garland Station to Downtown Rowlett Station on April 25. The Blue Line section is scheduled to open Dec. 3, the same day as the second section of the Orange Line from Irving Convention Center Station to Belt Line Station, near Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Meanwhile, DART recently introduced a new text system that riders can use to contact DART police to report a crime or emergency.

The new tool is not intended to replace emergency calls, but to assist crime-fighting by enabling riders who are hearing impaired or who do not wish to make a phone call while witnessing a crime to contact police, DART officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/11/2012