Dallas unveils off-wire light rail vehicle
USA: The first off-wire capable light rail vehicle ordered by Dallas Area Rapid Transit was unveiled on March 23. These will be used on the Union Station – Oak Cliff extension, which is due to open to passengers on April 13.
A $9·4m contract with Brookville Equipment Corp for two vehicles was signed in February 2013 and includes an option for two additional vehicles.
The bidirectional three-section Brookville Liberty Modern Streetcar is 70% low floor. At 20·3 m long it is about half the length of the LRVs in the existing DART fleet. It is 2 400 mm wide with capacity for 100 passengers including 34 seated.
Maximum speed is 70 km/h. Two 550 V batteries are installed to power the four 99 kW AC traction motors when off-wire. The cars will use this capability while crossing the 1·6 km Houston Street Viaduct over the Trinity River, which forms part of the 2·6 km, four-stop Oak Cliff extension.
The initial service on the extension will run from 05.00 to 19.15 Monday – Friday. Passengers will initially be allowed to travel on the new route for free.
Funding for the project includes a $23m TIGER grant plus an additional $3m in federal funding and $22m from DART. Extensions to Bishop Arts District and the Dallas Convention Center are envisaged.