DART is a wonderful system for both riders and railfans. My hotel room overlooked the Pearl St station and even into the late hours of the night there always seemed to be a train either coming or going. The fares are bone cheap, I think a full system day pass was something like $2.50. While you could buy a single trip ticket, the TVM's didn't even talk about them or list them as an option. If you wanted a Day Pass to cover your trip on TRE the cost rose to only $4.50. I was astonished.
The DART LRV's are basically just like the Baltimore cars with hi-level seats, articulated design and they ran in two car trains. However they are faster (65mph vs 55mph) and the operators don't pull up to the mini-hi platform so the front door is usable (Hello MTAM, are you listening?) When a handicapped passenger was on the min-hi, if there was a supervisor or ticket inspector on the train that person would assist the T/O in preparing the mini-hi flap thing. In Baltimore those folks just sit around and watch. DART still suffered from a lack of traffic light preemption in the downtown, but that was one of the few flaws.
DART has chosen to stick with wayside automatic block signaling. All of the lines are bi-directional, so this means back-to-back block signals on the main line. At interlockings DART uses the NYCS route based aspects with the top head indicating the route and the bottom the block status of the route. DART also had a an approach diverging aspect with a flashing yellow light. DART uses equipment from Union Switch and Signal. In the tunnel they use the transit style heads with LED lamps and on the main lines they use US&S modular stack lights. One odd thing is that they use blanked light modules as spacers on the signal masts so you get something like L/S/S/L/L/L/S/S/L/L/L with L's being lamps and S being spacers. No wonder US&S has a reputation for really gouging folks who contract them for a signaling system.
In my travels on DART I route out to both Plano and Garland. I was unable to explore the southern end of the system due to time constraints. I will have later posts on my ride on TRE and the McKinney Ave Trolley line.
You can find the current DART pix at:
Your basic DART LRV #142 trundles down the Downtown RoW. This one is running on a Blue Line routing.
Out away from the city at the Parker Rd station at the northern end of the Red Line.
One more shot at Perl St with LRV #124.