Thread: Light Rail Boom
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2020, 12:03 AM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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The existing rail infrastructure DART replaced was mostly poor quality single track that had lots of grade crossings. To be suited to fast, comfortable, attractive mass transit it would have required a comparable amount of rebuilding and grade separation.

Austin did the DMU thing people here are suggesting and it didn't work. Ridership is absymal. The existing branch line they used doesn't really reach many useful destinations. Also because most of the alignment is still single track, and because the fleet of trains is too small, the service frequency is far too low. These things make it somewhat useless and worse than the express bus it replaced. And when it was all set and done the line still ended up costing a TON of money regardless. I think it is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish, a lack of big picture planning and conviction amongst local leaders who saw political demand for "build trains" and didn't really think it through.

Dallas snaking some DMU's every half hour down a one-way track at 20 mph with stops hidden behind warehouses would be a massive downgrade to what they have now, which in many stretches is from a functional, user point of view not that different from a heavy rail metro.
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