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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

March 08, 2000

New rail alignment offers maximum economic development potential

DART Board Selects Northwest Corridor Rail Routes

DART is taking the next steps to bring light rail to Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Irving and eventually Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with the completion of a two-year long Major Investment Study.

DART planners estimate the $1.4 billion light rail line will carry more than 25,000 riders a day. The selection of an alignment completes almost two years of study, extensive community meetings and work group meetings aimed at choosing a Locally Preferred Investment Strategy (LPIS) for the Northwest Corridor.

Light rail service could arrive in Carrollton and Farmers Branch as early as 2007. The final dates for the start of light rail service will be determined after the completion of preliminary engineering and financial planning studies that will be occurring over the next 18 months. This alignment follows the current Trinity Railway Express railroad right-of-way as it leaves downtown Dallas, proceeds north along Harry Hines Boulevard near UT Southwestern Medical Center to a point just south of Mockingbird Lane and rejoins the Union Pacific line traveling north to Frankford Road in Carrollton.

The Irving segment branches to the northwest in the vicinity of Northwest Highway and Bachman Lake, extending south and west past the University of Dallas, north along State Highway 114 and into Las Colinas. Light rail service in this area could begin as early as 2008.

Final dates for the start of light rail service will be determined after the completion of preliminary engineering and financial planning studies. An extension of the Irving line from SH 161 would reach the north end of D/FW International Airport by 2012.

Although the Major Investment Study identified a different, technically-preferred route to serve Las Colinas, Irving officials supported the Texas Stadium/University of Dallas alignment because of the greater potential for economic development. To support its preferred alignment, the city agreed to enter into an interlocal agreement with DART to provide $60 million through contributions or cost savings. The agreement between DART and Irving is scheduled to be finalized by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Irving officials will begin land use studies designed to identify possible economic development opportunities along the rail corridor.

"We can't lose on this route," DART Board Chairman Jesse Oliver said. "The overall benefits not only to Irving, but to the DART Service Area in general, can be immeasurable. There is great potential for development in that area."

Officials in Carrollton and Farmers Branch also are exploring economic development opportunities around future rail stations in their cities.

Persons needing more information about the Northwest Corridor project can call 214-749-2522.


Click here to see a map of the Northwest Corridor Major Investment Study area in PDF format.

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This Release is Available en Español.

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