A-train (Texas)

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DCTA A-train logo.svg
Downtown Denton Transit Center September 2015 01.jpg
OwnerDenton County Transportation Authority
LocaleDenton County, Texas
TypeHybrid rail
SystemDenton County Transportation Authority (DCTA)
Operator(s)First Transit (operations), Rio Grande Pacific Corporation (dispatching)
Rolling stock11 Stadler GTW 2/6
Daily ridership600 (weekdays, Q1 2022)[1]
Ridership135,300 (2021)[2]
OpenedJune 20, 2011
Line length21 mi (33.80 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed79 mph (127 km/h)
Route map

Downtown Denton Transit Center
Highland Village/Lewisville Lake
Old Town
Rail Operations and
Maintenance Facility
North Carrollton/Frankford (DART)
Trinity Mills

The A-train is a 21-mile (34 km) hybrid rail (light rail with some features similar to commuter rail) line in Denton County, Texas, United States. It is the fourth-busiest commuter rail line in Texas and thirty-first in the United States. It runs parallel to Interstate 35E between Denton and Carrollton and acts as an extension with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Green Line at Trinity Mills Station in Carrollton. It is operated by First Transit under the authority of the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) and serves Denton County. It opened on June 20, 2011.[3] In 2021, the line had a ridership of 135,300, or about 600 per weekday as of the first quarter of 2022.


The right of way was established by the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad. Eight miles (13 km) of the disused line was purchased by the city of Denton in 1993, with a rail trail opening in 2001.[4]

A formal Alternatives Analysis study conducted in 2004–2005, which included extensive community and citizen involvement, identified the proposed rail line as the best and most cost-effective mobility solution for Denton County and the region. It cited the impacts of projected population growth, growing safety, traffic congestion and air quality concerns, as well as the need to improve access to Denton County's vital health care facilities and three major college and university campuses.

In May 2005, the DCTA Board of Directors approved the study's recommendation to construct the rail alignment on east side of I-35E using an existing railroad corridor. The DCTA worked closely with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to meet the Federal and local regulatory requirements. In March 2008, the DCTA Board of Directors approved the Final Environmental Impact Determination that detailed the proposed measures to mitigate the environmental impacts of the rail project and the Regional Transportation Council approved funding of in August 2008.[citation needed] Federal funds were not used in the construction of the rail link.[5]

On April 4, 2011, the DCTA began tests of railcars, communications systems and signals on track between Carrollton and Lewisville Lake, with tests on the remainder of the route projected to begin later in the month,[6] though this date was later pushed back to mid-May.[7]

The A-train was opened on June 20, 2011, with celebrations at five train stations.[8]

First Transit signed an agreement with the DCTA on July 20, 2016, to operate the A-train from October 1, 2016.[9] The contract is for nine years with five additional option years.[9]


The North Central Texas Council of Governments Mobility 2045 plan calls for the A-train to be extended south to interchange with the DART Silver Line.[10] As of April 2021, DCTA is in discussions with DART to extend the A-train to Downtown Carrollton as part of an agreement in which DCTA would host a DART Silver Line maintenance center at the existing A-Train Operations and Maintenance Facility, including track upgrades and a new A-train station at Downtown Carrollton.[11]



Fares are fully integrated with the rest of the DCTA system, with single rides costing $1.50. Two free transit zones exist on the system: between Downtown Denton Transit Center and MedPark, as well as Hebron Station to Trinity Mills.


As of September 21, 2020, the A-train operates with 30 minute headways during rush hours and 60 minutes during off-peak hours every weekday, with 21 round trips per day and one additional northbound train. Saturday has nine trains per direction running approximately every two hours. There is no service on Sundays and major holidays. Interchanges with the DART Green Line are irregularly timed.[12]


All stations have a park and ride lot and are fully accessible.

Station Location Municipality Points of interest and connections
Downtown Denton Transit Center 604 E. Hickory Street Denton Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
MedPark 3220 MedPark Drive Denton Regional Medical Center
Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: 2,4
Highland Village/Lewisville Lake 2998 N. Stemmons Freeway Lewisville Lewisville Lake recreational area
Bus interchange Denton County Transportation Authority: GoZone on-demand ride service
Old Town 617 E. Main Street Historic downtown Lewisville
Bus interchange Denton County Transportation Authority: GoZone on-demand ride service
Hebron 952 Lakeside Circle Bus interchange Denton County Transportation Authority: GoZone on-demand ride service
Trinity Mills 2525 Blanton Drive Carrollton Dallas Area Rapid Transit Green Line
Bus interchange DART Buses: 534 – Addison Transit Center, 536 – Addison Transit Center

Rolling stock[edit]

DCTA placed an order for 11 Stadler GTW 2/6 DMUs in 2010. The first of the new trains were delivered in late 2011 for testing prior to their entry into service.[13] The full order was fulfilled by August 2012, and in September 2012 the new units replaced the Budd DMUs leased from TRE.[14] The line uses diesel-electric hybrid motive power.[15]

Class Image Type Top speed Inventory Built
mph km/h
Stadler GTW 2/6 Downtown Denton Transit Center September 2015 12.jpg Diesel Multiple Unit 60 100 11 2010–2012

The A-Train began operations using 10 Budd RDC-1s leased from Trinity Railway Express, which were used until DCTA's own purpose-built fleet was delivered.


  1. ^ "Transit Ridership Report First Quarter 2022" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. June 16, 2022. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2021" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 10, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  3. ^ Peterson, Matt (June 20, 2011). "A-train railway begins rolling, carrying commuters from Denton to Carrollton". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on July 1, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Denton, DCTA sorting out A-train issues". The Dallas Morning News. November 30, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "DCTA to begin testing signal, communications equipment on A-train corridor". Progressive Railroading. April 4, 2011. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  7. ^ "Denton – Dallas A-Train services to start in June". Railway Gazette International. May 16, 2011. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "Train stations celebrate opening of A-Train". Pegasus News. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "FirstGroup signs first US commuter rail contract".
  10. ^ "Mobility 2045: Maps" (PDF). Mobility 2045. North Central Texas Council of Governments. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "DCTA April 2021 Board Packet" (PDF). DCTA. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  12. ^ "A-train". DCTA. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  13. ^ BJ Lewis (August 21, 2011). "New rail cars in testing phase". Denton Record-Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  14. ^ "Vehicles". MYA Train. July 27, 2010. Archived from the original on May 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "Denton's new A-train cars may help expand regional rail". The Dallas Morning News. January 29, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2019.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata