Route map:
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OwnerTrinity Metro
LocaleTarrant County, Texas, US
TypeHybrid rail
SystemTrinity Metro
Rolling stock8 Stadler FLIRT
Daily ridership2,400 (weekdays, Q4 2023)[1]
Ridership714,800 (2023)[2]
OpenedDecember 31, 2018 (2018-12-31) (preview)
January 10, 2019 (2019-01-10) (full service)
Line length27.2 mi (43.8 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed70 mph (110 km/h) top
30 mph (48 km/h) avg.
Route map
Map TEXRail highlighted in red
planned extension
Sycamore School Road
I-20/Granbury Road
planned extension
Medical District
T&P Station
Trinity Railway Express Parking
Fort Worth Central Station
AmtrakTrinity Railway ExpressGreyhound LinesBus interchange
North Side
TEXRail Equipment
Maintenance Facility
Mercantile Center
North Richland Hills/Iron Horse
North Richland Hills/Smithfield
Texas 114.svg SH 114
Grapevine–Main Street
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
DFW Airport North
DFW Airport Terminal B enlarge…
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Handicapped/disabled access All stations are accessible

TEXRail is a hybrid rail line (i.e., a non-commuter rail service that operates on the national rail network) in Tarrant County, Texas that provides service between downtown Fort Worth and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with intermediate stations in North Richland Hills and Grapevine. It is operated by Trinity Metro (formerly Fort Worth Transportation Authority). The line was opened for preview service on December 31, 2018 and started revenue service on January 10, 2019.[3] In 2023, the system had a ridership of 714,800, or about 2,400 per weekday.

The new line is worth $1 billion.[4] It is considered a segment of the Cotton Belt Rail Line project, alongside the DART-operated Silver Line (currently under construction) to the east.[5]

Officials with Trinity Metro are hoping the new rail line will entice non-member cities along the line to join the transit agency in its quest to become a regional transit entity. Planned TEXRail stations led to agreements with Grapevine and North Richland Hills in 2006 and 2016, respectively, that allowed stations to be built within those cities. The route also passes through Haltom City, Hurst, and Colleyville, but these cities have not joined or signed interlocal agreements, preventing Trinity Metro from building stations in them.[6]


Grapevine citizens voted 8,058 to 2,898 on November 7, 2006 to levy a 1-cent sales tax, of which 38¢ would authorize Grapevine to contract with Trinity Metro for rail service and another 18¢ for other transit improvements, like a downtown parking garage.[7] This includes an expansion of the commuter rail system to link southwest Fort Worth to the north end of DFW International Airport.

Trinity Metro'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 Sycamore School Road, running near Texas Christian University and the Medical District on its way to the existing T&P Station and Fort Worth Central station. At that point it turns northwest toward the Stockyards before turning northeast toward DFW International Airport. Preliminary plans call for nine new stations with eleven total,[8] and could be contingent on other cities along the corridor joining the agency.

A proposal to use private funding to construct both TEXRail and DART's Dallas County segment was considered, but this plan was abandoned after necessary legislation was not passed in the State Legislature.[9] Following this legislative defeat, Trinity Metro began pursuing federal grant funds in order to build TEXRail.[9] On March 5, 2014, it was announced that the TEXRail project would receive $50 million in federal grant funds from President Barack Obama's 2015 New Starts Funding Budget.[10]

In April 2015, Trinity Metro approved a contract for pre-construction services, awarded to an Archer Western Contractors/Herzog Contracting Corp (Archer Western Herzog) a joint venture, as well as approving the final design for the Iron Horse and Smithfield Road stations.[11]

On June 9, 2015, Trinity Metro ordered an initial eight 4-car articulated Stadler FLIRTs DMUs.[11] The contract was valued at $106.7 million, with an option for up to 24 additional DMUs, and includes the supply of components for 10 years. This was Switzerland-based Stadler's first order in the US for any model outside its Stadler GTW product line, therefore making it subject to the regulations of the Buy America Act. As such, one element of the contract is that the final assembly of the trains will take place in the US, at their plant in Salt Lake City.[12][13][14]

That same month, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) gave approval for the project to advance into the engineering phase that immediately precedes the start of construction.[15] In June 2016, Trinity Metro received a Letter of No Prejudice from the FTA, essentially green-lighting the project. In reaction to this, Trinity Metro said they planned to start preliminary construction in July 2016, on track for a planned opening date in December 2018.[16] DFW Airport also said they would provide the $40 million to build the station at Terminal B, with an opening date in late 2018.[17]

Construction on the line officially started on August 24, 2016, with a groundbreaking held at Grapevine's historic depot, the site of Grapevine-Main Street station.[18]

On January 4, 2019, less than 12 hours before service was scheduled to commence, the opening was suspended due to signal issues identified during an inspection by Federal Railroad Administration officials along the southern end of the line in Downtown Fort Worth.[19] The new opening took place on January 10, 2019.[20][21]

Future expansion[edit]

Scott Mahaffey, Trinity Metro board chairman, has expressed interest in extending the line south and adding two stations to serve the medical district and Texas Christian University at an estimated additional cost of $200 million. This extension could be completed by 2025, when all additional planned and proposed stations are added the line will be an additional 14 miles longer. City Councilman Jungus Jordan has said that he would like to see the line go even farther south to serve Tarleton State University's new campus near the Chisholm Trail Parkway.[22] In 2020, $38.9 million was granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Transit Administration to extend the line to the medical district.[23] Under the proposed expansion plan, construction would start in spring 2024 with completion by the fall of 2026, total cost is projected to be $167 million.


Travel time from T&P Station to DFW International Airport is estimated to be approximately 55 minutes.[24] There are 73 trips per day, with 30 minute headways between start of service at 3:20am to 9:00am for morning rush, 2:30pm to 7:00pm for afternoon rush, with 1-hour headways outside of the rush hour time periods; all 100 series trains listed on the Trinity Metro TEXRail schedule do not complete full journeys from FTW to DFW or vice versa.[25]

The line is predominantly single tracked, with passing sidings installed to allow for 30-minute headways.[26]


Route map of stations

Stations were opened on December 31, 2018:[27]

Station Transfer Municipality Parking
Texas & Pacific (T&P) Trinity Railway Express Trinity Railway Express Fort Worth 350
Fort Worth Central station
North Side 164
Mercantile Center 318
N. Richland Hills/Iron Horse North Richland Hills 376
North Richland Hills/Smithfield 559
Grapevine-Main Street Grapevine Vintage Railroad Grapevine 137
DFW Airport North Future: DART Silver Line 208
DFW Airport Terminal B Dallas Area Rapid Transit Orange (via walkway to DFW Airport Terminal A station)
Trinity Railway Express Trinity Railway Express (via TRE Link bus)
Future: DART Silver Line

Rolling stock[edit]

A TEXRail Stadler FLIRT trainset entering DFW Airport Terminal B Station in 2019.
Interior of a TEXRail Stadler FLIRT trainset.

Trinity Metro provides TEXRail service using eight Stadler FLIRT self-propelled diesel multiple units (DMU), TEXRail 101-108, capable of seating 229 passengers and carrying up to 488 passengers.[27][24] In TEXRail application, the diesel power module contains two 520-kilowatt (697 hp) (1400 hp Total) Deutz AG TCD 16.0 V8 engines that comply with US EPA Tier 4 emission standard, able to achieve a top speed of 81 mph (130 km/h), however mainline track speed is limited to 70 mph. These units at 266 feet (81 m) long weigh in at 352,000 pounds (160 t) empty (443,000 pounds (201 t) full load).[28]

The contract to purchase eight trainsets, valued at about $100 million, was awarded to Stadler in June 2015.[28] The first set was delivered in October 2017,[29] and four more sets had arrived by November 2018.[30] Equipment testing and crew training started in March 2018.[31]

Each rail vehicle is configured with an operator cab at either end for bidirectional movement. At the center of the train is the power pack with two diesel engines, with a passageway to allow access to other parts of the train, and allows it to be much quieter than traditional commuter rail. TEXRail vehicle amenities include USB ports equipped at every seat, work tables, lap trays, a quiet car, ADA compliant level boarding, overhead luggage racks, bike racks, and a restroom near the center of each train.[32][24]


  1. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ Campbell, Elizabeth (August 16, 2018). "This commuter rail service is more than a way for passengers to get to DFW Airport". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  4. ^ Dickson, Gordon (June 17, 2016). "TEX Rail on track to open in 2018 despite lack of federal funds". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "DART.org – Cotton Belt Regional Rail Corridor Information". www.dart.org. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  6. ^ "BUSINESS PLAN ANNUAL BUDGET FY 2019" (PDF). Trinity Metro. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  7. ^ Grapevine election results
  8. ^ "Southwest to Northeast Transportation Corridor Study - Public Meeting Presentation" (PDF). Archived from the original on March 25, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ a b Dickson, Gordon (May 29, 2013). "Cotton Belt funding bill dies in Legislature". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "TEX Rail Plan Gets $50-Million In Federal Funds". CBSDFW.com. March 5, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "TEX Rail contracts approved". Trains. April 28, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "TEX Rail orders Stadler Flirt DMUs". Railway Gazette International. June 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Stadler Rail wins 100-million-dollar contract in Texas". Stadler Rail. June 10, 2015. Archived from the original on June 21, 2015.
  14. ^ Location of Stadler manufacturing plant. http://www.sltrib.com/news/business/2017/10/13/stadler-breaks-ground-on-railcar-manufacturing-plant-expected-to-employ-1000-in-west-salt-lake-city/
  15. ^ "TEX Rail receives FTA approval to enter engineering phase". Railway Track & Structures (RTS). Simmons-Boardman Publishing. June 5, 2015.
  16. ^ "TEX Rail Set To Become Reality, But…". CBS DFW. June 28, 2016.
  17. ^ "D/FW Airport Approves TEX Rail Station at Terminal B". NBC DFW. July 1, 2016.
  18. ^ "Finally, TEX Rail project underway from Fort Worth to Grapevine and DFW". Star-Telegram (Fort Worth). Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  19. ^ Leszcynski, Ray (January 4, 2019). "TEXRail calls off Saturday's planned debut after signal issue stalls federal clearance". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  20. ^ Ladner, Darren (January 7, 2019). "TEXRail Passenger Service". Trinity Metro. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Sweet Ride Trains December 2019 pages 44-47
  22. ^ Dickson, Gordon (January 18, 2019). "Fort Worth is crazy over TEXRail, so is now the time to extend the trains south and west?". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  23. ^ Jaimes, Miranda (March 2, 2020). "TEXRail train system to add station, extend to Fort Worth Medical District". Community Impact. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c "Overview". TEXRail. Trinity Metro. Archived from the original on September 14, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  25. ^ "TEXRail Schedules". Trinity Metro. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  26. ^ "Appendix B: Operations and Maintenance Plan" (PDF). DART. DART. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2022. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "TEX Rail Diesel Multiple Unit Train Sets RFP 14-T008" (PDF). The T. June 30, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Stadler unveils TEX Rail Flirt DMU". Railway Gazette International. October 10, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  29. ^ "Why TEX Rail commuter train cars may be safer than older models". Star-Telegram. November 10, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  30. ^ "New TEXRail Train Tests Continue Before Service Launch". NBCDFW.com. November 6, 2018. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  31. ^ "$105 million Grapevine Main on track to be the coolest place in Texas to catch a train". Star-Telegram. March 7, 2018. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  32. ^ Starcic, Janna (February 14, 2018). "Fort Worth 'FLIRTs' with New Train Tech for Airport Link". Fort Worth 'FLIRTs' with New Train Tech for Airport Link. Metro Magazine. Retrieved August 2, 2018.

External links[edit]

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