The Denton County (Texas) Transportation Authority (DCTA) and Stadler Bussnag AG, a Swiss company, have reached an agreement for the purchase of eleven GTW 2-6 Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) for use as the next generation rail fleet for DCTA’s 21-mile corridor from Denton to Carrollton.
Jim Witt, DCTA president and Klaus Potocnik, head of project management/deputy CEO signed the $73.7 million contract on Tuesday. Vehicle construction will commence in September 2010 and the first vehicle is schedule to arrive in Lewisville in August 2011. The final vehicle is scheduled for delivery in April 2012. Testing will continue through August 2012 with “fleet transition” scheduled for September of 2012.
Each GTW 2/6 can seat 96 passengers and has a total capacity of 200. Luggage racks, bike racks and space for wheelchairs are provided. The vehicle is 70 percent low floor, meaning level boarding is provided. Though up to three vehicles may be run as a unit, DCTA plans to run two coupled vehicles on 20-minute headways during peak service.
A central element of DCTA’s service plan and heavily endorsed by Denton County residents, the A-train project includes single-phase construction of 21 miles of regional rail, five rail stations, a bicycle/pedestrian trail, and a regional rail operating and maintenance facility.
The immediate objective of the project is to have full service between Denton and Carrollton to interface with Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s light rail system by December 2010. This timing will coincide with DART’s opening of the northern section of its Green Line and will complete a 50-mile segment of regional passenger rail that is detailed in the Mobility 2030 plan.
The A-train is slated to begin service using RDC vehicles which were previously operated by the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). The Stadler DMUs or “new generation vehicles” are expected to go into operation after approximately eighteen months of the A-train being in service.