March 11, 2013

DART awards streetcar vehicle contract

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Brookville Equipment Corp. officially agreed to terms for the supply of two off-wire capable Liberty Modern Streetcars to the downtown Union Station to Oak Cliff extension project, with an option for two additional streetcars. The light rail vehicle (LRV) will be the first-ever American-designed and manufactured off-wire capable streetcar to be delivered to a U.S. public transit agency.

The Brookville Liberty Streetcars will operate along a four-stop, 1.6-mile track that provides access for citizens of Dallas' urban core to the downtown Union Station hub, which connects to DART's Red/Blue/Green light rail lines and the Trinity Railway Express with service to Fort Worth.

The streetcars will utilize an innovative battery energy storage system (ESS) to power the car's four traction motors when off-wire. Approximately one mile of the 1.6-mile track will require ESS power, allowing the LRV to cross the city's Houston Street Viaduct over the Trinity River without the use of catenary.

Featuring three passenger compartments, the 66.5 foot-long, eight foot-wide cars will include more than 70% low-floor area, providing accessible seating for passengers. The streetcars will run on standard 56.5-inch track gauge and utilize Brookville’s soft ride trucks powered by four 99 kW AC traction motors while traveling at a maximum speed of 44 mph.

The contract between Brookville and DART is authorized for up to $9.4 million and the extension project includes funding from a Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) I grant of $23 million. The downtown Union Station to Oak Cliff extension is being funded through various grants totaling $56.8 million, with collaborative agency support between the City of Dallas, North Central Texas Council of Governments and DART.

The Oak Cliff streetcar extension is slated for a late 2014 completion and will provide enhanced accessibility to downtown Dallas for residents in adjacent neighborhoods.

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