FTA Commits $499M in Grants Over Four Years to Fort Worth Commuter Rail Project
DALLAS/FORT WORTH, TX The Federal Transit Administration and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority signed a $499 million federal grant agreement to help build the "TEXRail" commuter rail line between downtown Fort Worth, Texas, and the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
The 27-mile TEXRail will link three of the area's major activity centers and provide an alternative to travel on congested roads.
The authority said the federal grant accord completes the funding package for the $1.034 billion commuter rail project. Under the grant deal, the FTA committed funds over four years from its Capital Investment Grant Program, on an annual payment schedule that is subject to congressional approval during the appropriations process.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the commuter rail operation "will give thousands of residents convenient access to employment, education, healthcare and other vital services in one of our nation's most populated metropolitan areas."
The project will serve two existing Fort Worth stations and build nine more that include the communities of North Richland Hills and Grapevine as well as DFW Airport. It also will provide connections to other transportation services including the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail system, Amtrak, Trinity Railway Express and the FWTA bus system.
The authority, which broke ground earlier this year, estimates that TEX Rail will open in 2018 for an estimated daily ridership of 9,000 when it opens and rising to 13,700 by 2035.
"As the population along the TEX Rail corridor continues to increase in the coming years, this commuter rail line will offer residents a much-needed alternative to sitting in traffic," said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. She announced the FTA's funding commitment at a Fort Worth ceremony with representatives from the FWTA, the city of Fort Worth and other local officials.
TEXRail will use bidirectional diesel multiple unit trains that feature on-board diesel engines attached to the passenger cars rather than a separate locomotive.
The authority said the DMU trains produce less noise and lower emissions than locomotive-powered trains. The engine is located in the center of the train, and the operator sits at either end of the DMU. The units will also come with positive train control to enhance safety by monitoring and potentially controlling train movements to avoid excessive speed or collisions.