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Rail News: Passenger Rail

DART to add light-rail trips during rush hour; consider streetcar prototype vehicle


Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is planning more frequent light-rail trips on the Red Line North/Orange Line to increase capacity for new riders as gasoline prices continue to rise.

To start April 11, the new schedule is expected to increase capacity by 28 percent during morning and afternoon rush hours, DART officials said in a prepared statement.

Capacity will be added by increasing departure times from every 15 minutes to 7.5 minutes, and by adding four trips during the morning rush and six trips during the afternoon rush.

Meanwhile, on Monday DART officials tested an ameriTRAM™ prototype streetcar on DART tracks. Manufactured by Kinkisharyo, which also supplies DART's light-rail vehicles, the electric prototype is powered by either overhead catenary or on-board lithium-ion batteries. The low-floor vehicle can travel up to five miles on a full charge.

DART is working as a technical adviser with Dallas city officials on a number of streetcar projects, including a planned connection to Oak Cliff, a connection with the McKinney Avenue Trolley and a future downtown streetcar network.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/9/2011