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DART Rail Line Delays Persist In Freezing Weather

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The frigid overnight temperatures are being blamed for DART light rail delays that are now extending into day two.

DART is encouraging passengers to allow extra time and prepare for a more complicated commute.

According to DART, the extreme cold causes the overhead power lines to contract and break loose.

"So when the train came through, the arm that makes contact with the wires, pulled down the wire," says Gordon Shattles with DART. "We are looking to assess the damage, and repair the lines. In the meantime we've got shuttle buses going for our passengers on the red, orange and blue lines."

Passenger Kati Valle says the delay caught her off guard. "No, definitely not what I was expecting," says Valle. "Usually l'd already be on the train by now."

Other passengers shared that they'd been caught up in delays that began on Tuesday when lines were down near the West End station.

"They didn't handle it very well yesterday," says Miller Johnson, an every day rail rider. "Today, they have a few shuttle buses here. Yesterday, I sat at the Mockingbird station for like an hour... we were just sitting there: like can I get off the train?"

Steven Smith was trying to make it to a doctor's appointment and thought he was being prepared.

"I looked up that trip planner on their website and it kept giving me bus routes," says Smith. "I thought there's something wrong with their website, I didn't think there was a problem with the trains!"

Other riders also complained that DART could have done a better job communicating with passengers before they began their commutes.

Sharon Davis was trying to get from Plano to downtown and says she's already signed up for alerts.

"I checked the DART website," says Davis. "They had absolutely no information about a disruption in service. I have a conference call that I'm supposed to be on right now."

Johnson says the rail system is easier than fighting Dallas traffic and more economical as well, but when things go wrong, "It hurts," says Johnson. "It really does hurt. I missed appointments. You have things you have to get to. Missed work. It really does hurt."

DART encouraging passengers to download their app and sign up for alerts to stay aware of disruptions. Although crews worked throughout the day, there's no word yet on when service will be fully restored.

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