January 19, 2019
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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau provided the Dallas Area Rapid Transit or DART system with a $908 million Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing or RRIF direct loan on Dec. 21 to help finance the Cotton Belt Corridor Regional Rail Project.

[Above photo by Jeffrey Beall.]

The Cotton Belt Corridor Regional Rail Project is a 26-mile passenger railroad extending from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport eastward to the Plano/Richardson area, covering three counties and seven cities.

USDOT noted in a statement that this project will be constructed primarily within the existing DART-owned railroad right-of-way, with tracks currently used for freight rail service provided by short line and regional carriers.

The project scope includes upgrading the existing track to meet passenger rail standards, converting single-track configuration to double-track, building ten new stations, and acquiring eight vehicles, USDOT said.

The agency said the Cotton Belt Corridor Regional Rail Project is expected to improve mobility, accessibility, and system linkages to major employment, population, and activity centers in the northern part of Dallas, which has long been identified as a heavily congested area in need of additional capacity and mobility solutions.

When operational, the project will provide a cross regional route linking DART’s Red, Green, and Orange lines, as well as the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) A-Train, USDOT added.

editor@aashto.org

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