DART Testing Trains on Green Line

Image courtesy DART

DALLAS — With only weeks remaining until the 2.7-mile Green Line light rail corridor opens, DART is conducting train tests and warning residents to keep an eye open for trains.

The Green Line light rail corridor runs between the Pearl Station and MLK, Jr. Station near Fair Park.

The tests will be conducted on an almost daily basis until the section opens September 14. The tests are designed to evaluate the operation of the new light rail track and to familiarize rail operators with the operating characteristics of the trains on the new line.

At other crossings DART trains will follow traffic signals.

Using $78.4 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Green Line rail project of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is headed for an on-time and on-budget arrival at four new stations on Sept. 14.

The first three-mile section of the $1.8 billion Green Line will extend from Pearl Station on the east side of Downtown Dallas to Deep Ellum Station, Baylor University Medical Center Station, Fair Park Station (at the intersection of Parry and Exposition) and the MLK, Jr. Station, adjacent to the J. B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center on the west side of Fair Park. It restores rail service to a neighborhood that 50 years ago was home to up to four rail lines. Daily service to Victory Station at the American Airlines Center will also begin September 14.

The remaining 25 miles of the Green Line, scheduled to open in December 2010, will extend southeast to Pleasant Grove to Downtown Dallas and northwest from Victory Station to the Dallas Market Center, the Southwestern Medical District, Love Field Airport and downtown Farmers Branch and Carrollton. Construction of the Green Line, the longest light rail project under construction in North America, has produced more than 2,200 construction jobs.

Major funding for the Green Line comes from a $700-million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration. The FFGA was first awarded in July 2006 at the start of Green Line construction. The funds awarded under the ARRA are part of DART’s FFGA.

DART Rail Doubling

Construction is also underway on the first nine miles of a new Orange Line that will branch from the Green Line in northwest Dallas to serve the city of Irving in 2011. The line will be extended to DFW International Airport by 2013. DART also is building a five-mile extension of the Blue Line from Garland to Rowlett that will open in 2012.

These lines are earning national attention as well. The Orange Line is among the first projects slated to receive funds – more than $61 million – under the ARRA. Altogether, the Green, Orange and Blue line projects are expected to add 60,000 weekday passenger trips, nearly doubling ridership on the DART Rail System.