Dallas Area Rapid Transit began testing vehicles for the Silver Line rail on May 5 and announced plans to continue tests into 2025, according to a news release.

What’s happening?

DART is running Silver Line trains on the Trinity Railway Express tracks to test the vehicles, train operators and vehicle systems. The train will run full routes on the TRE from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each Sunday over the next few weeks.

The test runs are occurring on Sunday since there is no regular service scheduled on that day of the week. The train will make brief stops at each station along the TRE though no passengers will be allowed to board during the tests.

Quote of note

“It's exciting for everyone associated with this project because this means we’re that much closer to opening for revenue service and having passengers on these new trains,” said Anthony Fuller, vice president of Silver Line maintenance and operation, in a statement. “The goal is to operate these vehicles and ensure that all the systems are operating as they should while running, stopping and starting on the tracks. Much like a new car before it’s put on the lot, we want to make sure that everything is ready to go starting day one for our customers.”

Learn more

DART has eight vehicles for the Silver Line designed by Swiss manufacturing company Stadler. Five of the vehicles will be in operation while three will act as spares, according to DART’s website. Vehicles will be rotated for maintenance on a regular basis when the Silver Line launches.

The vehicles feature electric diesel multiple-unit-powered engines that meet standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Each car can seat 235 passengers and features multidirectional seats, overhead storage and internal CCTV cameras.

What’s next?

The trains will be tested on different segments of the Silver Line rail later this summer, according to the news release. Segmented testing is slated to start by early August on the tracks between Shiloh Road Station in Plano and CityLine/Bush Station in Richardson.

In the fall, testing will begin between Knoll Trail Station in Dallas and Terminal B Station at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Segmented testing is slated to wrap up in early 2025.

Segmented testing helps to ensure each portion of the track functions as needed and the vehicle responds appropriately. End-to-end testing of the entire rail line is scheduled for summer 2025.

The Silver Line, a 26-mile commuter rail that traverses seven cities in North Texas, is slated to begin revenue service in late 2025 or early 2026.