A-train (Denton County)

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DCTA A-train logo.svg
Downtown Denton Transit Center September 2015 01.jpg
A-train diesel multiple unit coaches at Downtown Denton
LocaleDenton County, Texas
TerminiDowntown Denton Transit Center
Trinity Mills Station
TypeCommuter rail
SystemDenton County Transportation Authority
Operator(s)First Transit
Rolling stock11 Stadler GTW 2/6
Daily ridership1,500[1]
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)
DCTA A-train
Downtown Denton Transit Center
Highland Village/Lewisville Lake
Old Town
North Carrollton/Frankford (DART)
Trinity Mills

The A-train is a 21-mile (34 km) commuter rail line in Denton County, Texas, United States. It is the third-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.[2]


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.[3]

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,[4] though this date was later pushed back to mid-May.[5]

The A-train was opened on June 20, 2011 with celebrations at five train stations.[6]

First Transit signed an agreement with the DCTA on July 20, 2016, to operate the A-train from October 1, 2016.[7] The contract is for nine years with five additional option years.[7]

Motive power[edit]

The line uses diesel-electric hybrid motive power.[8]


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.[9]


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.


The A-train operates with 30 minute headways every weekday, with 34 trains round trip per day (and one additional late train each direction on Fridays). Saturday has reduced service with nine trains per direction and long headways. There is no service on Sundays and major holidays. Interchanges with the DART Green Line are irregularly timed.[10]


Figures collected by the American Public Transportation Association show that 1,500 people rode the A-train on an average weekday in the third quarter of 2011.[11] As of the fourth quarter of 2015, average weekday ridership has increased to approximately 1,900 riders per day, making the A-Train the twenty-fifth most-ridden commuter rail system in the country.[1]


Station Location Municipality Points of interest and notes
Downtown Denton Transit Center Disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 604 E. Hickory Street Denton Connections:

Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: Routes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and North Central Texas College shuttle

MedPark Disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 3220 MedPark Drive Points of interest:

Denton Regional Medical Center
Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: Routes 2, and North Central Texas College shuttle

Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 2998 N. Stemmons Freeway Lewisville Points of interest:

Lewisville Lake recreational area
Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: North Central Texas College shuttle

Old Town Disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 617 E. Main Street Connections:

Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: Route 22

Hebron Disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 952 Lakeside Circle Connections:

Bus interchange Connect Bus Service: Route 21

Trinity Mills Disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 2525 Blanton Drive Carrollton Connections:

Metro interchange DART Light Rail:      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.[12] The full order was fulfilled by August 2012, and in September 2012 the new units replaced the Budd DMUs leased from TRE.[13]

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

Past fleet[edit]

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.

 Class  Image  Type   Top speed   Inventory   Routes operated   Built 
 mph   km/h 
Budd Rail Diesel Car Lewisville Old Town DCTA.jpg Diesel Multiple Unit 75 120 10 Denton-Carrollton 1954–58


  1. ^ a b "Public Transportation Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2019" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA). March 2, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2021 – via http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Pages/ridershipreport.aspx.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "Train stations celebrate opening of A-Train | www.pegasusnews.com | Dallas/Fort Worth". Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  7. ^ a b https://www.firstgroupplc.com/news-and-media/latest-news/2016/20-07-16.aspx
  8. ^ "Denton's new A-train cars may help expand regional rail" (webpage). The Dallas Morning News. January 29, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2019 – via https://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/2012/01/30/dentons-new-a-train-cars-may-help-expand-regional-rail/.
  9. ^ "Mobility 2045: Maps" (PDF). Mobility 2045. North Central Texas Council of Governments. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "A-train" (PDF). DCTA. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Public Transit Ridership Report, Third Quarter 2011" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 11, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 11 DMUs ordered from Stadler, July 27, 2010, archived from the original on May 10, 2010

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata