TEXRail trains moving full steam ahead into Grapevine

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Editor’s note: Trinity Metro extended the time for its free TEXRail service, and this article has been edited to reflect that extension.

After 13 years of discussion, 29 months of construction and almost as many months of testing, TEXRail is nearly ready for passengers. All nine TEXRail stations across northeast Tarrant County will begin operations Jan. 5, including the Grapevine station at Dallas Road and Main Street.

TEXRail is a new 27-mile commuter rail project that will extend from downtown Fort Worth through Grapevine and Colleyville and into Terminal B at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Colleyville will not have a TEXRail station.

Passengers can ride TEXRail at no charge during the month of January, or from Jan. 5-Jan.31.

“It will provide the general public another exciting mode of transit from a destination standpoint as well as, of course, just a normal day-to-day ability to get to work,” Grapevine City Manager Bruno Rumbelow said.

The total TEXRail project costs $1.03 billion and is divided between federal and local funds, including money from the North Central Texas Council of Governments and sales tax.

In November 2006, Grapevine residents approved a 3/8 cent sales tax to fund their TEXRail station.

Bob Baulsir, senior vice president of Trinity Metro, said the project has been in the planning stages throughout Tarrant County since 2005, and Trinity Metro officially began constructing TEXRail in 2016. He said the TEXRail trains will “raise the bar” for trains everywhere.

“This is going to be a premium ride,” Baulsir said. “We really see this as the service that everybody else in the state of Texas is going to strive to meet.”

TEXRail operations

Grapevine’s TEXRail station is at the corner of Dallas Road and Main Street. Rumbelow said there are two other stations in the Grapevine city limits, but those will be operated by
DFW Airport.

Grapevine is building a parking garage that will be available on a limited basis when the rail service debuts in January as construction continues. Rumbelow said additional parking will be made available to all TEXRail passengers until the garage becomes fully operational in April. It will be free for TEXRail users.

On Feb. 1 passengers will be able to step up to the TEXRail station platform and purchase tickets from an electronic kiosk. Following the two-week initiation window, tickets are $2.50 for a single ride or $5 for a day pass that will cover all bus and rail travel in Tarrant County for the day it was purchased.

Another program called EasyRide will benefit companies seeking to bring employees to the office via the train, as employers can purchase tickets at a 25 percent discount on monthly and annual passes, Baulsir said.

Representatives of EasyRide recently met with a group of Grapevine business leaders to share information about discounted fares for participants.

“They were intrigued by the program and asked an array of questions about EasyRide,” Linda Thornton, Trinity Metro vice president of marketing and communications, said in a statement. “We’ve all seen the recent news reports about the need for more workers in Grapevine. TEXRail could be the answer for bringing a larger workforce from the region to Grapevine.”

Rumbelow said the city also has plans to expand the Grapevine Visitors Shuttle service, operated by the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau. The shuttle takes guests to key destinations, such as Grapevine Mills and the Gaylord Texan Resort. More shuttles will be added, and the length of the shuttle operations will extend, Rumbelow said. More destinations may be added depending on the demand from the TEXRail trains.

The trains can get up to speeds of 70 miles an hour. The trains are quiet, Baulsir said, so motorists should pay attention to crossing gates.

“We’ll start out low with 40 trains a day, and then as we grow up in the first six months we’ll probably bump it up to more than 70 trains a day going through Grapevine, so we want folks that live along the line and crossing it to be aware,” Baulsir said.

The economic argument

Eight thousand riders a day are predicted to use the service in its first year, and by 2035 that number is expected to increase to nearly 14,000 daily. Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate said he expects the trains to be more successful than projections show.

“People still have a love affair with trains,” Tate said. “A lot of people are looking forward to just riding it as an excursion.”

Now many Grapevine-based festivals, including Christmas activities and GrapeFest, will be accessible to more people than ever before, Baulsir said.

Some Grapevine residents are looking forward to the train operations as well. Jessica Cruz, who owns the Texas General Store on Main Street, said she is excited to have another means of transportation for Grapevine guests.

“I hope that it will encourage people to venture out of whatever their comfort zone may be … and let them experience other areas of the metroplex,” Cruz said. “Maybe people from outside of Grapevine will come experience [the city]that haven’t before. “

Tate pointed to the early trains of the 1800s and how they changed the cities they came to and brought economic development to them. He said he hopes history will repeat itself for Grapevine.

“I think [the TEXRail trains]are a great opportunity for us and for our community,” Tate said. “I think those that don’t have it sooner or later will want to have it.”

Colleyville had the option to add a TEXRail station but opted not to participate. Mayor Richard Newton said the city has no intention of changing its stance.

“[The trains] just didn’t fit in with what Colleyville was about,” Newton said. “Which is fine. Every city has their own value system for what’s important to them, and Colleyville is fairly unique in this regard. We’ve always been this way, in terms of high quality, low density. We’re doing fine.”

Plans to create a destination

Grapevine plans to use the Main Street station as a tool for developing the surrounding area. Once complete, the Grapevine Main project will include a boutique hotel, a parking garage with 550 total spaces, a grand central station attraction with an observation tower and a community plaza.

“You have to have things that keep [people]coming back and make it an exciting, community-type of environment, and we’ll do that,” Rumbelow said. “A lot of background has been put into what could that be, what will activate it and make it a place where it becomes a central community gathering space. … The whole thing will be powerful once it’s done.”

In addition to the plans for the Grapevine Main project, connectivity to the Dallas-Fort Worth area is expected to increase overall. After taking TEXRail to the airport’s Terminal B, riders can transfer to the DART Orange Line that connects to Parker Road in Plano. Switching lines from there allows travelers access to Dallas.

Tate said it is no wonder he has only heard excitement from his residents regarding the train.

“This will be something that not only our own people but our guests will be able to enjoy, and it will just add to the ambiance of the downtown area,” he said. “I think it’s a giant leap forward for us.”

Additional reporting by Sherelle Black

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  1. I am horrified and am now considering moving out of Colleyville. I just read the Community Impact article on the “high speed” TEXRAIL train ramping up service in January.

    It’s not bad enough residents on either side of Hwy 26 have to deal with the pathetically slow lane widening, local street construction, sewer construction and other traffic inducing projects. Now this train is going to be making 70 trips a day? Are you F’ing kidding??????? That is almost 3 trips per hour if the train ran 24×7, which I doubt it will. That means crossing rails coming down 4 or 5 times an hour during commute hours. That will bring the traffic to a stand still on Bransford, LD Lockett, Pleasant Run, John McCain and likely Glade. The arms will hardly go up before they have to come back down. What genius did that traffic impact study?

    The only good thing I can say about Colleyville is we turned down a station. Oh wait, that means the train will have a straight shot from NRH to Grapevine travelling 70 MPH through heavily used walking and biking trails, residential areas and not to mention those HEAVILY traveled streets I mentioned.

    Who approved this project and this level of train activity???? I will be starting local resistance to this woeful and blatant lack of planning and overall disregard for thousand of residents in fairly affluent neighborhoods, not to mention our neighbors in NRH that use John McCain and LD Lockett as pass through to Precinct Line and further west.

    MOST Sincerely,

    Dan Andreola
    Disgusted Colleyville Resident

  2. Mr. Andreola makes valid points. I will add that nowhere in this article is there mention of the reality of accessing DART at DFW Airport. For those who do not yet know: the DART station at the airport is outside of terminal A. The new TEXRail is going in to terminal B. How are passengers going to get between these terminals? The TerminalLink is beyond the security checks. Terminal shuttles are not terribly reliable under the best of circumstances, if they are to be found at all.
    Logistics. are clearly not the strong suit of any of the so-called studies supposedly done.
    Not a genius, but it doesn’t really take one,
    Michele de Jong (Colleyville)

    • Ralph Micallef

      Notice that ONLY Colleyville residents have been spouting their mouths off about this project. Their huffing and puffing reeks of elitism, as they cant be bothered to rub shoulders with those from poorer parts of the Mid Cities, like Hurst and Bedford etc.

      The project and service are sound, the necessity of public transport as a valid and cheaper option to automobile ownership is paramount,after all how much can you widen 26 in the next decade? Therefore the need to reduce congestion trumps the need to consider Colleyville’s train crossing woes.
      Cities in more sophisticated cities around the world use light rail transport, very successfully I might add.

      You have to give in a bit for the entire region to benefit, selfishness needs to take a break for a change, no one is stopping huge Infiniti SUVs plying the roads with just 1 passenger and that passenger being a petite female , but that they have to perhaps plan better.

      Finally to the person asking about Terminal A and B, the project was never intended as a connection between Fort Worth and Dallas. For that you have the TRE which connects the 2 cities far more efficiently.
      This project is to give an alternative to Fort Worth residents with a way to get to DFW, once in DFW terminal B they get through security and use Skylink to get to Terminal A, and similarly those arriving on DART Terminal A to B.

      Kudos to the project, raising my glass to more rail less road.

      • Elitism? I could care less about your insecurity with your social/economic status. This is about about a thoughtless project that will increase traffic rather than reduce it for the sole purpose of making money for Grapevine and Fort Worth.

        The train goes between Grapevine and the Stockyards, like it always has. Who really is going to want to ride this train for mass transportation???? Where does it go, besides maybe the airport which is a real stretch for mass usage. Oh wait, I want to ride the train from Watauga to NRH….really?

        Do you have the ability to do math? Infinti Smintity, this will totally destroy and increase the traffic on Hwy 26 that already exists today, and all of the surrounding area. If you are so worried about one passenger in a car then carpool.

        Do the math genius – 70 trips a day is 3 time an hour if you run 24×7. It won’t which means more per hour. Do you know where Precinct Line is?? Oh yeah, and Davis. And the list goes on all the way to Fort Worth. That is 3 crossing an hour. 5+ min of disruption with each crossing not to mention the traffic time to clear the mess after each pass. Guess what genius – that is at every street crossing the train passes. And this improves traffic?

        Oh, yeah, I’ll take the train…but wait it really doesn’t go anywhere I need to go unless I am going to Fort Worth.

        Keep drinking, it helps you see more clearly.

    • There will be a walkway between the TexRail Station at Terminal B and the DART Station at Terminal A. It’s a short walk between the two. So, yes this has been addressed and is being built as part of the project.

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Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2017 serving as the editor of the Grapevine/Colleyville/Southlake edition.
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