WORK WILL start this year on two extensions to the DART light rail network in Dallas, following approval by the Federal Transit Administration of a $700m Full Funding Grant Agreement. This is intended to support a $2·4bn programme that will double the network to 150 km by 2013.

With an initial $80m included in President Bush’s draft budget for the 2007 financial year, DART will begin work on lines running southeast to Fair Park, South Dallas and Pleasant Grove and northwest to Love Field Airport, Farmers Branch and Carrollton, totalling 33·8 km. The money will also fund the C-Car programme to add a 9·4m low-floor centre section to each of the 115 Kinki Sharyo LRVs.

Local funding will pay for a branch serving Las Colinas Urban Center in North Irving and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, plus an extension of the Blue Line from Garland to Rowlett and South Oak Cliff by 2018. The Fair Park line is expected to open in September 2009.

The DART board unveiled its long-range rail transport plan on April 25, calling for investment of $3·2bn by 2030. The plan includes a light rail line of up to 14·5 km along the LBJ Freeway in North Dallas, which would run partly in tunnel. Commuter rail would be introduced on a 42 km former railroad right-of-way from Plano and Richardson to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, possibly using DMUs or diesel LRVs running at 20min intervals. n