The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors decided on the final section of the DART Rail Orange Line will connect to Terminal A at DFW International Airport in December 2013, following a staff recommendation for direct terminal access from the future Belt Line Station on airport property.
Construction on the first two sections of the Orange Line, from the future Bachman Station in northwest Dallas to Las Colinas and then to Belt Line Station, began earlier this year. The sections are scheduled to open in December 2011 and 2012 respectively. A contract for the final section to the airport is scheduled to be awarded next year.
DART's board vote also adds a future light rail connection from the Orange Line to the Cotton Belt, a DART-owned rail line that crosses through airport property north of SH 114, which would provide additional rail access to the airport.
DART owns 52 miles of the Cotton Belt, presently in use as a freight rail line, between the Collin County city of Wylie and Fort Worth. DART's long-range plan is to connect the Red Line in the Plano/Richardson area to DFW Airport in 2027. The Fort Worth T currently has plans to operate rail service by 2013 on the western half of the Cotton Belt between Fort Worth and the airport as part of their Southwest/Northeast project. DART and the T are also exploring a Public-Private Partnership to accelerate the start of Cotton Belt passenger rail service.