Engineering firm Stantec is designing a new signaling system for a portion of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. The new system is part of the construction of the new Lake Highland station along the light rail's Blue Line between downtown Dallas and Garland.
As part of the signaling system, Stantec is adding new software and hardware to support the new power switch interlocking system, which essentially governs the signals to trains that indicate whether it is safe to pass through upcoming intersections. The team will also test the system to make sure it operates safely before the new station opens.
The new station is part of DART's 2030 transit expansion plan, which is focused on fostering public transportation and developing transit-oriented communities throughout the Dallas area. Construction of the new Lake Highland station has already begun, and it is expected to open in late 2010.
Additionally, Stantec announced that is now wrapping up design of a similar signaling and communications system for an extension of the Miami-Dade Metrorail, a 22.5-mile heavy rail line that travels between downtown Miami and its suburbs. Stantec is replacing the existing control system at the Metrorail's Earlington Heights station with a state-of-the-art microprocessor control system, a first for the Miami-Dade Metrorail. The microprocessor controls will automatically record system data and improve the system's diagnostic capabilities.
New signals and controls, switch machines, electronic track circuits, and upgraded communications networks will also be installed as part of the project. The system is expected to go into manufacturing and assembly later this year and be completed by mid 2012.