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The TEX Rail commuter line project took a major step forward yesterday when eight agreements were signed in Fort Worth, Texas, that will enable the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) to begin operating TEX Rail possibly by 2018.At a ceremony held at the Intermodal Transportation Center in Fort Worth, officials from Union Pacific Railroad, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Amtrak signed agreements involving track rights for TEX Rail, according to a report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The proposed 27-mile commuter-rail system being developed by The T would follow existing rail lines from downtown Fort Worth, northeast to downtown Grapevine and then into the north entrance of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. TEX Rail needed permission from UP, which owns the track necessary for passenger trains to get from downtown Fort Worth to the Stockyards. UP also has trackage rights on DART's tracks. Amtrak agreed to change its Texas Eagle route from UP track to the Trinity Rail Express corridor, which Amtrak officials say will help speed up its service."This change puts Amtrak Texas Eagle passengers on a better route shared with Trinity Rail Express commuter trains and avoids the freight train operations that were challenging our trains every day on the previous routing," said Mark Murphy, Amtrak's senior vice president and general manager of the business line that includes Texas Eagle.The new route also "simplifies our movements through the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center and will improve reliability for more than 100,000 Amtrak passengers who use our Fort Worth gateway every year," he added.
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