Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) recently awarded Stadler US, Inc. a $119 million contract to build eight FLIRT model trains and to design an Equipment Maintenance Facility (EMF) for the Cotton Belt Regional Rail Project. DART anticipates the trains to go into passenger service by the end of 2022.
The new vehicles have the ability to transport 240 seated passengers and 225 standing passengers, and are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With regards to safety, Stadler plans to install a comprehensive CCTV system on each train. In addition, the trains will “be equipped with an automatic passenger counting system, which can count the number of passengers boarding and alighting the train at each stop, and can detect huddling of passengers in certain areas of the train as well as blockages of boarding areas.”
FLIRTs are self-propelled by a diesel multiple unit (DMU) and meet both tier 4 EPA emissions standards and FRA Standards. Each train set consists of four units, plus a power pack in the middle, which houses the power unit; the setup includes four powered axles and eight unpowered axles, which puts the trains at approximately 267 feet in length, Stadler noted.
According to the contract, Stadler will provide input and past experiences to engineering company Urban Engineers, which is contracted for the design services for the planned EMF.
This is the fourth contract for Stadler in Texas so far, as operators such as CapMetro in Austin, Denton County Transportation Authority in Lewisville and TEXRail in Fort Worth “are already successfully in revenue service with Stadler trains.”
“After completing several projects in Texas already, Stadler is honored to now also supply DART with new state-of-the-art trains,” said Martin Ritter, CEO, Stadler. “We are proud that DART has chosen our FLIRT and know that we will be able to deliver a product that satisfies the customer to the highest degree.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with Stadler US, Inc. on the design and specifications of our new Cotton Belt regional rail project trains,” said John Rhone, DART VP of Capital Design and Construction. “Their focus on technology innovation and design promises to provide our customers with the safe and enjoyable ride they’ve come to expect from DART.”