Great article in the Dallas Morning News today about the DFW people mover known as Skylink. Includes some video and interactive features-
Some highlights of the article-
When Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's new Skylink opens later this month, passengers will trade a plodding, jerky trip on the airport's 31-year-old train for a fast, sleek ride with a view. But airport officials are counting on the $880 million project for a lot more than that. Opening to passengers on May 21, Skylink seeks to address one of D/FW's critical flaws. Although the airport's sprawling layout makes it easier for pilots to park big jets, it can frustrate passengers rushing to make connecting flights.
The automated Skylink – the world's largest airport train, with a fleet of 64 cars and a route nearly five miles long – will transport passengers between most terminals in about five minutes.
D/FW has been aggressively marketing Skylink, holding focus groups about such details as selecting station and onboard music and even developing a "signature" chime when the train starts or stops. The goal is to get travelers comfortable with the train, said Joe Lopano, D/FW's executive vice president of marketing.
"Once people trust that Skylink is going to move every two minutes, they'll feel more comfortable to go to another terminal to shop," Mr. Lopano said.
Initially, Skylink will be capable of carrying 5,000 people per hour in each direction, using two-car trains. Eventually, the system will accommodate four-car trains.
Each Skylink car can carry 60 people, compared with about 20 on the old train. And at about 35 miles per hour, Skylink is more than twice as fast.
Like the TrAAin, Skylink runs on the air side of the terminal, meaning passengers can avoid a second trip through security.
Efficient terminal navigation could translate into more business for American and other carriers whose passengers want to make quicker connections with international networks.
"If it takes 10 hours and 30 minutes for an international trip that connects through D/FW and 12 hours if you connect through Chicago, that's a competitive advantage for us," Mr. Fegan said.