Published in Passenger Transport (August 25, 2016):
A new commuter rail line that will run from downtown Fort Worth to the airport kicked off construction in bold fashion – with three groundbreakings in one day. Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s TEXRail project celebrated at Fort Worth’s historic Texas & Pacific Station, which will be the beginning of the route, as well as in Grapevine and North Richland Hills.
“We are delighted to have this project underway,” said Paul Ballard, president/CEO of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. “TEXRail is a tremendous achievement for our region and our customers.”
TEXRail’s 27-mile line will go through Fort Worth’s four stations and five others, including two in North Richland Hills and one in Grapevine. Service will begin in late 2018, and more than 9,000 daily riders are expected by the end of the first year of operation. By 2035, that number is projected to grow to 14,000 riders.
Bob Baulsir, vice president of railroads and procurement, said riding TEXRail will be hard to resist. “Once people have the chance to see how smooth and elegant this Stadler vehicle is, they will see that it’s the way to go. Why suffer through white-knuckle driving in traffic when you can sit back and enjoy the ride?”
TEXRail will operate 44 diesel multiple unit (DMU) passenger trains per day. The bidirectional train has the engine in the middle and the operator sits at either end of the DMU.
“One of the greatest features of TEXRail is that we’ll have positive train control for enhanced safety,” Baulsir said. “These trains feature state-of-art technology that will provide a great rider experience.”
Ballard said he is excited for all the project will bring with it. “We have transit-oriented development planned throughout the region, from residential living to retail to boutique hotels,” he said. “Public transportation has a very bright future in North Texas.”
This article was published in Passenger Transport on August 25, 2016.