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TRE Trinity Railway Express

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Trinity Railway Express locomotives 566 and 568 at Victory Station. Photo by Glenn L. Rowe, March 2008.

Contents

Overview

On December 30, 1996, the Southwest's first commuter rail operation, Trinity Railway Express, took to the rails with a 3-station service between South Irving and Union Station in Dallas. The operation was a partnership between Dallas's DART and Fort Worth's T transit systems, although Fort Worth would receive service several years later following the necessary track improvements. Some 4000 riders tried out TRE trains on Opening Day.

To begin service, TRE purchased 13 Budd RDC cars from Via Rail Canada and had them remanufactured. However, they were not ready for the startup, so some coaches were leased from Connecticut Department of Transportation, along with some locomotives. A facility west of the future CentrePort/DFW Airport Station was built to store and service the Budd cars.

Initally, there were 30 trains a day (15 in each direction). A year later, this was upped to 50 daily trains, when midday and evening service was inaugurated. Saturday service was added on December 5, 1998. Ridership reached over 587,500 in 1999 even though service was restricted to Dallas County.

In order for Fort Worth service to begin, more rolling stock was needed. 2 tri-level "lozenge" cab cars and 10 straight coaches, originally built by UTDC (predecessor to Bombardier) in 1976-77 were purchased from Toronto's GO Transit. Then a windfall manifested itself when new Bombardier tri-level commuter cars originally intended for the Sounder commuter rail system in Seattle became available. TRE also picked up four 1994-vintage EMD F59PH locomotives from GO Transit and purchased two new F59PHI units. Most of this new equipment arrived in 2000, in time to start service to two Tarrant County stations (Richland Hills and Hurst/Bell) and two new Dallas County stations (CentrePort/DFW Airport and West Irving) in September of that year. Finally, downtown Fort Worth received commuter rail service on December 3, 2001, with new stations opening at Fort Worth Intermodal Transit Center and the historic Texas & Pacific Station. Ridership reached 1.32 million passengers in 2001 and a high of 2.29 million in 2003, before declining slightly to 2.16 million in 2004. Since 2003, the Budd RDCs have seen very little service, as the tri-level coaches have more amenities for the computer age.

Although there are tentative plans to build and run a rail spur into DFW International Airport, no funds have been identified, and for all intents and purposes, TRE has reached its peak length.

Fares are distance-based, purchased from platform ticket vending machines, but fare forms and passes for both Fort Worth T and DART are honored, and fares purchased on TRE are valid on either local transit system services.

The trains are quite clean and are punctual. Regular meets are scheduled at Medical/Market Center, South Irving, West Irving and between Richland Hills and Hurst/Bell Stations. Both BNSF and Union Pacific use the line for local freight service.

Route Map

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Photo Gallery


Image 12078
(80k, 702x465)
Photo by: Jim Cumbie

Image 12079
(53k, 421x602)
Photo by: Jim Cumbie

Image 23929
(161k, 820x620)
Photo by: Bob Vogel
Location: Fort Worth ITC

Image 37694
(141k, 1272x848)
Photo by: Phil Hom
Location: CentrePort/DFW Airport

Image 38068
(119k, 720x465)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: West Irving

Image 38071
(170k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Union Station

Image 38078
(121k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: TRE Maintenance Shop/Yard

Image 38080
(130k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: South Irving

Image 38083
(122k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Union Station

Image 38084
(96k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: West Irving

Image 38085
(113k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: West Irving

Image 38089
(133k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Union Station

Image 38091
(120k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: TRE Maintenance Shop/Yard

Image 39632
(167k, 1024x768)
Photo by: Adam Moreira
Location: Union Station

Image 81391
(248k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Glenn L. Rowe
Location: Victory


More Images: 1-50 51-81

Links

Official Site - Trinity Railway Express

Official Site - Fort Worth "T"

Official Site - Dallas DART

Page Credits

By Peter Ehrlich.









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