Trains For America

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Rail congestion in Fort Worth? Say it ain’t so.

Anybody who has ever ridden the Eagle must marvel that anything gets past the gauntlet. The Fort Worth Star Telegram has the story on proposed improvements, including the eventual relocation of the downtown rail yards.

The train trench or overpass in downtown Fort Worth would be the biggest part of an estimated $300 million in public improvements — all related to rail — funded over the next decade, Sims said. A variety of financing sources will likely be available in the next decade, including state emissions reduction funding, railroad rehabilitation money and possibly proceeds from development contracts with private companies, he said.

Goal: passenger traffic

Rail companies have committed in principle to help regional planners solve train-related problems, and to open up freight lines to passenger rail traffic, but have not yet specified where and when any changes would take place.

But some projects will be easier than others, rail officials say. For example, Union Pacific officials still say it would be difficult to allow passenger service on the company’s busy tracks through Arlington. But the company is more optimistic about helping the Fort Worth Transportation Authority runs its Cotton Belt line from southwest Fort Worth to Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the UP chairman’s special representative Joseph Adams said after the meeting. That proposed commuter rail route, which is under environmental review, would include a couple of miles of Union Pacific tracks in north Fort Worth.

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