Wednesday, July 09, 2014

DART readies airport LRT link

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DART readies airport LRT link DART

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) said Wednesday, July 9, 2014 that it and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport "are making final preparations on the last segment of the Orange Line, which arrives at the new D/FW Airport Station on Monday, Aug. 18."

D/FW Airport built the station as part of its construction at Terminal A, the first of the legacy terminals to be renovated. According to DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas, the partnership will allow DART to open the rail expansion four months sooner than scheduled, something he anticipated in an interview with Railway Age earlier this year.

"We could not have achieved this rail opening early and under budget without the incredible partnership with D/FW Airport," Thomas said in a statement. "Construction of the station and the Orange Line extension has been a true collaboration."

DART has been operating test trains since last April on the extension in preparation for the service.

The 5-mile segment links newly renovated Terminal A and Belt Line Station, with continuing service to major regional destinations including Irving-Las Colinas, Dallas Market Center, and downtown Dallas. With this opening, DFW Airport becomes the third-largest American airport with a direct rail connection to the city center.

"Every renowned, world-class airport has rail service to the city center," said Sean Donohue, CEO of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. "One of our key priorities is to continue to grow globally and add more international service, so to be able to provide that same access to our customers is fantastic."

DART notes D/FW Airport is one of the region's major employment centers, so the LRT connection will offer direct access for the nearly 60,000 people who work there.

Early morning and late night trains will be scheduled so that passengers and employees can get to their flights, work, or home. The first Orange Line train departing downtown Dallas arrives at DFW Airport Station at 3:50 a.m. The last train departs DFW Airport for downtown at 1:12 a.m. weekdays; 12:12 a.m. weekends.