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Old September 30th, 2014, 06:55 PM   #341
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From Global Rail News:


TEX Rail construction could start in 2016
30 SEP, 2014

Construction work on TEX Rail, a new regional rail corridor between Fort Worth and DFW Airport, could begin in 2016.

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) has received permission from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to start the next phase of engineering design for the 44-kilometre route.

The T will also now begin the land acquisition process for properties that lie along the proposed corridor.

By 2018, the authority hopes to have eight stations open, serving 10,000 passengers a day.

Up to 50 per cent of TEX Rail’s capital cost will be financed through federal funding
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Old October 1st, 2014, 09:59 AM   #342
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Cool. Hope this gets built.
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Old November 14th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #343
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Dallas Morning News


Possible high-speed rail quickens Dallas transit plans

By Brandon Formby
Transportation Writer

Published: 09 November 2014 10:55 PM
Updated: 10 November 2014 11:28 AM
A private company’s plans to connect Dallas and Houston with a 90-minute high-speed train ride is prompting Dallas Area Rapid Transit to fast-track plans for increased transit options downtown.

The region’s largest transit agency is working on a three-pronged approach to increase rail lines, streetcar routes and downtown train capacity by 2021, when Texas Central Railway’s trains could arrive in Dallas.

And DART now has something that’s long eluded them in dramatically expanding downtown service: a rough financing plan that officials believe could turn the $983.4 million in projects into reality. But a key component currently missing is Texas Central Railway’s decision on the location of its Dallas station.

DART leaders will discuss the situation and their plans during a joint meeting with the Dallas City Council’s transportation committee Monday.

Texas Central last month announced three possible locations for its high-speed rail line. One is on the southwestern corner of downtown. The other two possible end points are along Interstate 45. One is near Loop 12 and the other near Interstate 20.

Texas Central officials say they want to pick a spot that connects passengers with public transit. A downtown station could put the line’s terminus within walking distance of Union Station. That station serves two DART lines, the TRE to Fort Worth, Amtrak, existing bus routes, the under-construction streetcar line to Oak Cliff and taxis.

But if the company goes with one of the I-45 spots, such infrastructure and transit routes would have to be built or moved.

“To relocate all of that would just be financially infeasible,” said Stephen Salin, DART’s vice president of capital planning.

Officials and residents who attended a meeting about the high-speed rail project last month unanimously favored a downtown terminus. That included City Council member Vonciel Jones Hill, who chairs the transportation committee.

“We strongly urge that the train comes into downtown Dallas, and more specifically, Union Station,” she said at the meeting.

Texas Central is expected to pick an end point by the end of the year. Salin said that could be delayed, as project timelines often are. Even if it is, DART is moving forward with the first part of three-phased approach downtown.

The agency plans to spend about $184.4 million to lengthen 28 stations so it can add a third car to trains. That would allow the agency to move 493 people per train as opposed to 329 riders. The downtown platforms can already handle three cars, but the Red and Blue Line stations outside of downtown can’t. That means all Red and Blue trains are currently limited to two cars.

Agency officials believe they’ve identified funding needed for that project.

“We want to keep a couple of things moving so we’re always able to make progress on some front,” said agency spokesman Morgan Lyons.

The next two additions to expanded downtown service include installation of the first phase of a second light-rail track and expansion of the city’s streetcar line. The additional downtown light-rail track is something Dallas has wanted for years. The first phase would connect Victory Station to Union Station with an underground line. It would cost about $706.8 million.

The city next year plans to open a streetcar line from Union Station to Oak Cliff. DART’s downtown expansion plans call for extending that line through downtown and connecting it with the M-Line trolley that serves Uptown. That would cost about $92.2 million.

The key to getting those two pieces in place is securing a $400 million federal grant. Agency officials say it’s hard to predict the likelihood of getting the grant and pinpointing how much they could garner because federal officials are still developing guidelines.

Salin said the agency is working closely with federal transit authorities on those guidelines. He said the agency is volunteering itself as a “guinea pig” for the grant program. The goal is to keep the momentum up so all the pieces are in place if high-speed trains arrive as hoped.

“We want to keep moving forward,” Lyons said. “That’s essential.”
Maine, the Pine Tree State

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Old December 16th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #344
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Amtrak Texas Eagle rerouting between Dallas and Fort Worth in 2015

The Texas Eagle is a daily Amtrak train between San Antonio and Chicago. When running between Dallas and Fort Worth, the train uses a different route than the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail. Amtrak uses a freight railway (grey line below); TRE uses a mostly passenger-dedicated line (blue line below).

This will change beginning in February next year, with intercity rail and commuter rail sharing the same set of tracks.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Amtrak takes a different track in Dallas-Fort Worth
12/14/2014 3:00 PM Updated: 12/15/2014 4:44 PM

High-speed rail is likely many years away in Dallas-Fort Worth, but area officials have made a deal to improve the slower but well-established Amtrak service by changing tracks.

The solution required four years of negotiations, a $7.2 million infusion of federal Recovery Act stimulus funding and an agreement by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to pay for a roughly $21 million insurance policy that clears Amtrak of liability for injuries and deaths on the line.

Amtrak, the nation’s only coast-to-coast passenger rail company, will begin using the Trinity Railway Express line between downtown Fort Worth and Dallas in February, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo said. Amtrak’s Texas Eagle runs daily from Chicago to San Antonio, with stops in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Amtrak also runs the Heartland Flyer daily from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City, using different tracks.

The Texas Eagle has traditionally used a Union Pacific Railroad freight line between Dallas and Fort Worth, but the tracks are frequently crammed with freight traffic and Amtrak trains are often delayed, sometimes for an hour or more. The TRE line, on the other hand, is mostly a commuter rail route.

“This is a significant improvement for the long-distance route,” said Peter LeCody, president of Texas Rail Advocates, which pushes for better passenger rail service.

LeCody said the new route will probably reduce Amtrak’s travel times. Now, it takes 23 hours and 40 minutes to travel by train from Chicago to Fort Worth, according to the Texas Eagle timetable.

“They had a lot of padding in the schedule, so hopefully they can take that out,” he said.

In addition to providing better Amtrak service, the plan includes adding track to the TRE line, officials said. By double-tracking portions of the TRE line, TRE will be able to operate more commuter trains, and run the Monday-through-Saturday service more frequently, they said.

Long time coming

Negotiations to move Amtrak to the TRE line dragged on for years, and in 2012 the project nearly had to send its federal stimulus funding back to Washington. A deal was worked out to save that funding.

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or the T, got involved because it is working on another commuter rail project known as TEX Rail and needed the cooperation of Union Pacific.

TEX Rail would run from Fort Worth to Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, using a 2-mile section of Union Pacific track north of downtown Fort Worth. The project is scheduled to open in 2018, pending federal funding.

In return for its help with TEX Rail, Union Pacific said the T would have to find a way to get Amtrak off the Union Pacific line running through Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth, several officials have said.

Amtrak said it would be glad to move to the TRE line but would not accept liability for the line. Amtrak does indemnify — or secure against liability — other railroads when it uses their tracks. But that policy follows laws passed in the 1970s when Amtrak was created and do not cover future agreements, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

In the end, the T agreed to pay about $1.07 million per year for the $21 million insurance policy, T President Paul Ballard said.

Amtrak will use the TRE line through September 2025, Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials said.

Although DART and the T co-own the TRE and are even partners, DART officials said they weren’t obligated to share the cost of the Amtrak insurance policy because it was part of a negotiation for the T’s TEX Rail project.

“The T obligation was a negotiated requirement between Union Pacific and the T because the T needs access to UP property for TEX Rail,” DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said.

Ballard, who became T president in April and wasn’t involved in most of the negotiations on the insurance policy, said he hopes the annual amount can be reduced over time.

“Those things, generally, you can bring them down in future years as the insurance company gets comfortable with the risk,” he said.

Some Texas Eagle supporters in Arkansas and East Texas have hoped Amtrak would consider stopping at CentrePort Station, just south of DFW Airport, a very popular stop on TRE. But Amtrak officials said they have no immediate plans to stop there because Amtrak service isn’t frequent enough to accommodate train riders if they miss a flight.

When Amtrak begins using the TRE line, commuter rail passengers will need to keep an eye out for the Amtrak trains as they roll through the stations without stopping. Pedestrians must often cross tracks to get to their TRE platforms and may not be accustomed to trains zooming past the stations without stopping, LeCody said.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796

Twitter: @gdickson

Maine, the Pine Tree State

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Old December 16th, 2014, 05:29 PM   #345
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I think Amtrak is becoming better than we previously thought
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Old December 16th, 2014, 07:20 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by dimlys1994 View Post
I think Amtrak is becoming better than we previously thought
the ridership improves every year too
High speed rail=real energy independence!

Save Lincoln Park!!!

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dallas, dart, light rail transit, texas

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