World's largest airport
train makes first test run; eight months of testing begins
Gliding down a test track on a flawless run, the SkyLink
Automated People Mover System made its public debut at DFW
International Airport. The Airport begins a rigorous eight-month
testing of SkyLink this summer, and the world's largest airport
train begins serving DFW's existing four terminals in early 2005.
Later next year, SkyLink will take passengers to the new
International Terminal D.
"This is a day we've been thinking about and dreaming about for
some time: the first time our public sees the new SkyLink train
moving around DFW," said Jeff Fegan, DFW CEO. "It will completely
change traveling around DFW Airport. It will change how our
passengers use our terminals. It will even change the view of DFW
Airport. Our passengers will love it."
During the eight month
testing period, the public will see the flashy blue and white
trains sporting DFW's signature logo maneuvering the 50-foot high
guideways at speeds of up to 40 miles an hour. The skylines
of Dallas and Fort Worth are visible from SkyLink's windows.
Once operational, SkyLink will be capable of transporting 5,000
passengers per hour per direction with a nine-minute travel time
between farthest distances and an average ride time of five
minutes. In the future the system will transport up to 8,500
passengers per hour per direction.
The testing phase is an important element in bringing the
SkyLink system online. DFW is receiving two train cars
per week from Bombardier Transportation System's Pittsburgh
facility. Currently 28 cars are stored in SkyLink's
Maintenance Storage Facility and the fleet will grow to 64
"Over the next eight months, the SkyLink trains will maneuver
around the guideway, moving from terminal station to terminal
station," said Clay Paslay, executive vice president of Airport
Development. "We'll be testing the operation of each train,
including doors and sound systems. "This is an exciting time for
all of us on the SkyLink team, and we can't wait for the public at
large to take their first rides next year."
Until SkyLink opens, DFW Airport passengers will be able to
continue using the existing systems to connect to other terminals,
including DFW's Terminal Link van service and American Airlines'