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Tradeoffs Considered for Dallas-to-Plano Rail Line

Officials would like to speed up the arrival of the Cotton Belt—a planned rail line connecting Dallas to Plano—but that might require sacrificing service.
August 1, 2016, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Central Station in Dallas.
Philip Lange

"A key part of fast-tracking rail service on the Cotton Belt line from DFW International to Plano hinges on lowering construction costs," according to an article by Brandon Formby. "To do that, Dallas Area Rapid Transit is considering single-tracking most of the route instead of double-tracking the entire path."

The project is currently expected to be complete by 2035. Single-tracking the line could speed up project completion to 2025.

Meanwhile, Cotton Belt planners are presented with the following dilemma: "Having two sets of tracks the entire way would allow trains to move in both directions without interfering with each other. But that's more expensive. Having one set is cheaper, but also comes with some operational inflexibility." 

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Published on Thursday, July 28, 2016 in Dallas News
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