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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2016

Part 1 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Preface

Part 2 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Amtrak and transit agencies in Arizona & California

Part 3 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Colorado, Florida, & Georgia

Part 4 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Illinois, New Jersey, & New York

Part 5 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Ohio and Pennsylvania

Part 6 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Texas & Washington

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Texas & Washington





Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the public transit system for Dallas and 12 surrounding North Texas cities operating light rail, commuter rail (the Trinity Railway Express, co-owned with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority), bus and paratransit services.

Service launched: light rail in 1996
Miles per mode: 93, light rail
Rolling stock: 163 light-rail vehicles, average age 14 years
Annual ridership: 29.9 million (as of FY2015)
Annual operating cost: $158.2 million (FY2015)
Annual capital cost: $69.5 million (FY2015)
Stations: 64 (as of Oct. 24, 2016)

Major capital projects underway: The 3-mile South Oak Cliff Blue Line Extension will open Oct. 24. This includes a rebuilt Ledbetter Station and 3 new miles of double-track light rail extending the DART rail system to the University of North Texas-Dallas. DART continues plans for a second light rail alignment through the Dallas Central Business District, as well as plans for rail on the eastern section of the Cotton Belt corridor from an area near the current Bush Turnpike Station and Terminal B of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.



Formed in 2002 and funded in 2003, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) has been focused on an aggressive service implementation strategy to address the mobility needs of Denton County residents. The central element of the agency’s service plan is the A-train, which connects with Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) Green Line at Trinity Mills in Carrollton, and serves five stations within Denton County. In addition to the A-train, the DCTA provides bus service in the cities of Lewisville, Denton, and Highland Village.

Service launched: Commuter rail, 2011
Miles per mode: Commuter rail, 21.3
Rolling stock: 11 DMU-GTW Stadler rail cars, average age 5 years.
Annual ridership: 550,000 on commuter rail
Annual operating cost: $13 million
Annual capital cost: $2 million
Stations: 5

Major capital projects underway: DCTA has four major Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) construction projects that resulted from the damage experienced during the Dallas area flooding in May and June 2015. The agency will be undercutting 1 mile of fouled ballast, replacing 13 flood-damaged grade crossings and repairing damaged drainage structures. Engineering is in process and DCTA expects to begin construction in late 2016 or early 2017. Construction is expected to take nine months. Total cost: $4 millions. Contracts have not been awarded.
Future projects: DCTA has a federal grant to construction another 3 miles of Hike and Bike trail in Lewisville, which is part of the agency’s 18.1-mile A-train Rail Trail. That project is in engineering and is expected to be let in January 2017 with a budget of $3 million.


OPERATING COST: $25 million

The Trinity Railway Express is a 34-mile commuter line connecting the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth. It is jointly owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.

Service launched: 1996
Route miles: 34
Rolling stock: 9 locomotives, average age 22; 17 rail-car coaches, average age 28; 8 rail-car cabs, average age 12.
Annual ridership: 2.1 million
Annual operating cost: $24.7 million
Annual capital cost: $35 million
Stations: 10

Major capital improvement projects underway:
• TRE is developing plans to replace a single track Double Lattice Through Truss bridge built in 1903 with a new double track structure in Dallas County. The project is in the design phase and is proposed to begin construction in early 2017, with a proposed 18-month construction duration.
• TRE’s Valley View project will add 1.4 miles of new Class IV double track and connect existing double tracks from West Irving Station to Centre Port Station. Currently in the design phase, the estimated construction schedule will begin in this year’s fourth-quarter. It is slated for completion in fourth-quarter 2017, and will include a new bridge structure at Bear Creek, as well as a double track at grade crossing at Valley View Drive.




Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.

Service launched: light rail, 2009; commuter rail, 2000
Route miles: light rail, 20.4; commuter rail, 83
Rolling stock: 62 light-rail vehicles (average age 8.3 years) and 122 light-rail vehicles on order from Siemens with an expected delivery of 2019-2023; and 14 locomotives (average age 13 years) and 58 rail cars (average age 15 years) for commuter rail, with another nine rail cars on order from Bombardier. Expected delivery is January-March 2017. Type: Bilevel cab cars.
Annual ridership: 11.5 million for light rail and 3.8 million for commuter rail (2015)
Annual operating cost: light rail, $60,712,312; commuter rail, $40.3 million (2015)
Annual capital cost: light rail, $577.6 million; commuter rail, $3.7 million (2015)
Stations: light rail, 16; commuter rail, 12

Major projects:
• Light rail expansion. After completing the University Link and South 200th Link Extension projects in 2016, Sound Transit continues its major light-rail expansion program of nearly 30 miles and 20 stations. Each segment is in various stages of environmental assessment, planning, design and construction as part of the Sound Transit II (ST2) expansion that voters approved in 2008. The total capital program for ST2 is about $13 billion,
• Northgate Link Extension (ST2), a 4.3-mile line featuring stations at Northgate, Roosevelt and the U District. Construction is underway, major tunnel work is completed and service will begin in 2021.
• East Link Extension (ST2), a 14-mile segment that includes 10 new stations. Construction began in 2016 and trains are expected to begin running in 2023.
• Lynnwood Link Extension (ST2), an 8.5-mile line that will run between Northgate and Lynnwood along the Interstate 5 corridor. Construction is expected to begin in 2018, with trains beginning to run in 2023.
• Federal Way Link Extension (ST2), which is in planning with a final environmental impact statement (EIS) expected in late 2016. Current funding will extend service 7.6 miles south from Angle Lake Station to Kent/Des Moines by 2023. Funding for the remaining extension reaching south to the Federal Way Transit Center has yet to be secured, although the EIS includes both segments.

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