October 21, 2022 - TRA Newswire - 

Getting ready for its late 2024 launch date, Stadler-built trains for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Silver Line will undergo testing soon in Eastern Colorado.

Ensco Rail and Stadler US Inc. have reached an agreement for conducting operational testing at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC), located at Pueblo, Colorado.

The Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains, similar to those now running on Trinity Metro's TEXRail line and Denton County's A-Train, will undergo testing before being turned over to DART for it's cross-county train service between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Collin County on the east.

As of October 1, Ensco Rail took over management of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration TTC research and test facility at Pueblo. The facility, comprised of some 50 miles of railroad track and labs for testing, was previously managed since 1982 by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). 

Jeff Stevens, President of the test facility said that “Ensco is excited to support Stadler’s DMU operational tests for these state-of the-art DMU trainsets. We thank Stadler for choosing Ensco to conduct this testing at the TTC in recognition of our technical capabilities as the Center begins a new era under Ensco's management,”

The DART Silver Line trainsets will be tested on the TTC tracks and evaluated on braking, accelleration, safety compliance measure and ride quality. Both freight and passenger train equipment is tested on this off-the-grid rail system as to not interfere with normal railway operations. 

In the meantime, construction continues on what is referred to as the Cotton Belt Line that runs through northern Dallas County. The single track freight rail line is being converted over to a two-track regional passenger rail service that will still support  overnight freight service to local shippers on a portion of the line. 

Photo credit: DART