Cotton Belt Rail Line

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Cotton Belt Rail Line
Overview
Type Commuter rail
System Dallas Area Rapid Transit,
Fort Worth Transportation Authority
Status Planning
Locale Tarrant County, Texas, Dallas County, Texas,
Collin County, Texas, Rockwall County, Texas
Termini Bush Turnpike Station
Sycamore School Road Station
Website DART Cotton Belt Rail Line,
TEX Rail
Operation
Owner Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Technical
Line length 67.7 mi (108.95 km)
Track length 67.7 mi (108.95 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Cotton Belt Rail Line is a planned 67.7-mile (109 km) commuter rail line in Tarrant County, Dallas County, Collin County and Rockwall County, United States that will provide service from Dallas's northeast suburbs to Southwest Fort Worth with a major terminal at DFW Airport. The project has been broken up into several segments under development by Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.

Together, the corridor would connect downtown Fort Worth, Grapevine, and DFW Airport with Carrollton (at a junction with both the Denton County Transportation Authority A-train[1] commuter rail line and DART's Green Line light rail line), Addison, Richardson, and Plano.

The current name for the line comes from the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, a former subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railroad commonly known as the Cotton Belt Railroad, which previously owned the line. DART purchased the right-of-way in 1990 for future transit use.

In 2010 the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments sought permission to enter a public-private partnership for the rail line. Using private money to build the rail line, they argue, the project's construction timeline could be shortened.[2]

Segment 1: Dallas County[edit]

The Dallas County segment of the Cotton Belt runs 22.3 miles (35.9 km) from Richardson to DFW Airport. This section of the line is part of DART's 2030 Plan, which had initial hopes of opening sometime near 2013.[3]

This section is being planned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and will serve as a crosstown route in northern Dallas County, connecting the Red Line in Richardson, the Addison Transit Center, the Green Line in Carrollton (where it will also connect with the Denton County Transportation Authority's northbound A-train[4]), and the Orange Line at DFW North Station (where it will connect to the TEXRail segment to southwest Tarrant County[5]). It will also pass through a portion of the city of Coppell, a charter member of DART that later pulled out of the system in 1989, though the possibility of rail service may entice Coppell to rejoin.

Stations identified for this segment

Segments 2 & 3: Tarrant Express (TEXRail)[edit]

TEXRail (formerly known as the Southwest-to-Northeast Rail Corridor) is the planned segment in Tarrant County, Texas, United States that will provide service from southwest Fort Worth to DFW Airport via Grapevine and other Tarrant County communities. It is being planned by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority ("The T") and is scheduled to open in 2016;[6] no color designation has been given for this planned line. The new line is expected to cost $USD330 million, of which 10 percent would be Grapevine's share.[7]

Officials with the T are hoping the new rail line will entice non-T member cities along the line to join the transit agency in its quest to become a regional transit entity. Cities along the route include Colleyville, Haltom City and North Richland Hills. The route also goes through small parts of Hurst and Southlake. Unlike Grapevine, those cities do not have room under the state-mandated 8.25% sales tax cap for the 1/2 cent need to join. Unlike Hurst/Bell Station on the Trinity Railway Express, FWTA will not build a station along the line in those cities unless they are a member city first.[8]

History[edit]

Grapevine citizens voted 8,058-2,898 on November 7, 2006 to levy a full cent sales tax, of which three-eights of a cent would authorize Grapevine to contract with The T for rail service and another 1/8 cent for other transit improvements, like a downtown parking garage.[9] This includes an expansion of the commuter rail system to link southwest Fort Worth to the north end of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The T's Board of Directors finalized their plans in October 2006 for the southwest-to-northeast expansion. Two commuter routes, a light rail route and a bus rapid transit route were under consideration. The Board's recommendation was a commuter rail line that runs in the southwest part of the city near Altamesa and Dirks road, run by Texas Christian University and the Medical District on its way to the existing T&P Station and Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. At that point it turns northwest toward the Stockyards before turning northeast toward DFW airport. Preliminary plans call for nine new stations with eleven total, though that has not been finalized,[10] and could be contingent on other cities along the corridor joining the agency.

Stations identified for this segment:

  • Summer Creek Station
  • I-20/Granbury Station
  • TCU/Berry Station
  • Medical Center Station
  • 7th Street (Western Bypass) Station
  • North Main (Western Bypass) Station
  • North Side Station
  • Beach Street Station
  • Haltom City Station
  • N Richland Hills/Iron Horse Station
  • N Richland Hills/Smithfield Station
  • Grapevine Main Street Station
  • DFW North Station
  • DFW Airport Station

Segment 4: Downtown Wylie[edit]

An additional segment of the Cotton Belt line has been labeled for future expansion. Although no planning has occurred, Segment 4 would extend the route from the Red Line in Richardson to Wylie, with stations in downtown Murphy, Texas and downtown Wylie, Texas.[11]

Stations identified for this segment:

  • Downtown Murphy
  • Downtown Wylie

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mya-train.com/
  2. ^ DICKSON, GORDON. "Outside developer is sought for rail line connecting Fort Worth, Grapevine, Dallas." Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) 9 Apr. 2010,: B. NewsBank. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.
  3. ^ http://www.dart.org/cottonbeltppp/
  4. ^ http://www.mya-train.com/
  5. ^ http://www.texrail.com/
  6. ^ http://www.sw2nerail.com/default.asp
  7. ^ [1] Cotton Belt Costs
  8. ^ [2] Cities weigh cost of rail line, Fort Worth Star Telegram
  9. ^ Grapevine election results
  10. ^ untitled
  11. ^ http://www.dart.org/cottonbeltppp/cottonbeltppprfi.pdf

External links[edit]