DART board of directors approve addition of second track along Cotton Belt line through North Texas suburbs

Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Cotton Belt line is expected to become operational in 2022.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Cotton Belt line is expected to become operational in 2022.

The Cotton Belt passenger rail line will feature a two-way double track that will not only improve efficiency but also add more than $100 million to the project’s price tag.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit board of directors unanimously approved adding the double track along the entirety of the future east-west running railway at its Feb. 12 meeting. The design change is expected to eventually reduce the wait period between rail cars to under 20 minutes for both directions.

Plano Director of Special Projects Peter Braster said increasing the frequency of trains could attract more riders for the future line.

“Reducing headways means more frequent trains, so the ability to get more frequent trains is always better because you then can adjust your schedule to demand,” Braster said. “When you can increase service, you can have more riders. All in all, that’s a good thing.”

When complete, the Cotton Belt line will connect southeast Plano to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Construction for the project is expected to begin later this year, with a projected completion date set for some time in 2022.

One of the key benefits of having the Cotton Belt line running through Plano will be providing residents greater access to employment, Braster said.

“While going to the airport is great, it’s really getting people to jobs,” Braster said. “More frequent service, getting people to jobs both inside Plano and outside Plano is really the best thing for us.”

The new track design comes at an extra $109 million to DART—raising the design and build contract to the maximum allowable price of $923 million, said Timothy McKay, the DART executive vice president of growth and regional development.

DART entered into the design and build contract with Archer Western Herzog in December.

Adding the second track is expected to help avoid train schedule delays during construction and maintenance periods, he said. It will also provide a more flexible system for freight trains that are using the rail.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from Plano Director of Special Projects Peter Braster.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Richardson Christmas parade
Here are 13 ways to celebrate the holidays in Richardson this year

Tis the season for breakfast with Santa, Christmas parades and 'Nutcracker' performances. Mark your calendars with these upcoming events.

for sale sign
Here is how the Richardson real estate market fared in September

The price of homes in Richardson was down slightly in September.

cars
Richardson city officials considering change in taxation for some leased vehicles

The practice of taxing personal-use leased vehicles has lost steam in recent years.

Cottonwood Park Richardson
Tree-planting event to take place Nov. 19 at Cottonwood Park in Richardson

Thirty-gallon trees have been donated by civil engineering firm LAN.

Northrich neighborhood sign
Featured neighborhood in Richardson: Northrich

Homes in this neighborhood are selling for above asking price.

Gracie Gym Richardson
Brazilian jiujitsu academy Gracie Gym moves to new Richardson location

The training center teaches self defense and offers after-school care.

Shawarma
Beirut Shawarma City to bring authentic Lebanese cuisine to Richardson

The restaurant will serve homemade Lebanese shawarma and more.

Sanitas Medical Center Richardson
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to help residents select health care plans at Dec. 7 event in Richardson

The event will also include free wellness checks, healthy food giveaways and community resources, according to the release.

Richardson Fire Department annual toy and food drive
Richardson Fire Department kicks off holiday season with annual toy and food drive

The annual event benefits clients of the Network of Community Ministries.

Liberty Junior High School in Richardson ISD
Talk of moving sixth-graders to junior high campuses underway in Richardson ISD

The move would have far-reaching impacts for the district, officials say.

Back to top