Monday, December 12, 2011

For Dallas, a streetcar turntable

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McKinney Avenue Transit Authority in Dallas is set to celebrate the debut of a streetcar turntable Thursday, Dec. 15, complete with holiday lights coordinated to dazzle viewers when the turntable itself is in use. 


The holiday light show will herald an $11 million neighborhood upgrade, of which the turntable accounts for $668,000. Cityplace Area TIF, a special assessment district that funds neighborhood projects with increased property revenue, financed the project.

McKinney Avenue Transit Authority say the turntable will allow for the eventual introduction of new and modern streetcars to supplement the current heritage operation. Unlike the authorities current equipment, most modern streetcar designs are not double-ended, the authority said. The current service includes a loop track at one end, but the turntable will be needed to handle new equipment in the future.

The turntable also is seen as required for expanding the system, which McKinney Avenue Transit Authority officials say will link the streetcar line with DART light rail service. The turntable is close to the rebuilt entrance to the DART Cityplace station.