Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DART LRT service comes back to life

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DART LRT service comes back to life DART

Crippled by severe ice storms before and during last weekend, DART light rail transit resumed full service at 3:30 p.m. Central Time Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, on the Red, Orange, and Green lines.

Only partial service was restored on DART's Blue Line LRT at that time. Bus shuttles were operating to cover service on a 9-mile stretch of the Blue line from LBJ/Skillman to Rowlett stations Tuesday morning, though DART anticipated full Blue Line service resumption by midday Tuesday.

DART said it ran LRT cars on its system overnight Sunday to help free overhead power lines of ice (as seen in photo above) but had only limited success doing so, forcing it to offer only truncated service early Monday.

"We have some 3-inch icicles on some parts of the catenary," DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said Monday. "We need sun to help remedy that."

On a new DART web page, DART Daily, launched last Thursday—four days ahead of schedule to help riders cope with the impending weather conditions—DART commented, "Despite taking early efforts (pre-treating the tracks, operating trains overnight, etc.) to prevent it from happening, trains were stalling across the system late Thursday night because of excessive ice buildup. This left trains stranded in potentially dangerous areas like bridges and overpasses."

Perhaps anticipating criticism from observers questioning DART's ability to cope with the severe weather, the site noted that U.S. rail systems often limit or suspend service under such conditions, and added, "There's no one-size-fits all approach to this, just as there are no two rail systems exactly alike. People in the transit industry learn from the experiences of others and try to apply what they learn for the next time."