TEXRail gained $499.39 million on Thursday after the Fort Worth Transportation Authority and Federal Transit Administration signed an agreement in that amount to complete local and federal funding for the planned $1.034-billion, 27-mile commuter rail line.
Set to open in late 2018, TEXRail will extend from downtown Fort Worth, across northwest Tarrant County, through North Richland Hills and Grapevine, and into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s Terminal B.
“Signing the full funding grant agreement signifies success for everyone who has worked diligently over the years to make TEXRail a reality,” said Paul Ballard, Fort Worth Transportation Authority president and CEO.
“I am grateful to the FTA [Federal Transit Administration] for their support of this project, and especially to FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers for joining us on this momentous occasion,” Ballard said.
Bob Baulsir, FWTA vice president of rail and procurement, lauded the rail plan.
“The economic development that we already see in Fort Worth and in the nearby communities of Grapevine and North Richland Hills is pretty amazing,” Baulsir said.
The TEXRail route is expected to start at the T&P Station and continue to the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown before moving on to the North Side, Beach Street-Mercantile, Iron Horse and Smithfield (both in North Richland Hills), Grapevine/Main Street, DFW Airport North and DFW Airport Terminal B.
Commuters will ride on FLIRT 3 (Fast Light Innovative Regional Train) vehicles, which are built by Stadler Bussnang AG of Switzerland, They will be assembled in Utah as part of the Buy America program. The first car shells are expected to arrive in the United States later this month, with the first completed train expected to be featured at the 2017 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Expo in Atlanta.