Updated at 8:05 p.m. Jan. 4
Trinity Metro announced TEXRail will not be launching its passenger services beginning Saturday, Jan. 5, as planned as it could not obtain full clearance from the Federal Railroad Administration.
Originally posted 6:33 pm Jan. 3
On Jan. 5, Trinity Metro’s TEXRail commuter rail line will begin full-time service, and with it residents will be able to return to their silent nights.
Before the trains begin operation, Trinity Metro is required by law to test the trains, which involves sounding the train horns at every intersection.
When TEXRail officially begins carrying passengers Jan. 5, the horns will stop sounding at crossings with quiet zones unless there is a safety concern, such as someone on or near the tracks, Trinity Metro Communications Director Laura Hanna said in an email.
There are 37 TEXRail crossings, and 34 of those will be quiet zones, Hanna said. The only ones that do not have quiet zones are the Airport Terminal B station, the DFW Airport North station—both in Grapevine city limits—and the station at 23rd Street and Decatur in Fort Worth.
Hanna said Trinity Metro is also offering Operation Lifesaver classes to promote safety around trains. The free classes are available to schools and community groups. Those interested can call 817-215-8700 to sign up.
The trains will go into service despite the ongoing federal government shutdown, though access to downtown Fort Worth may be limited. In a November interview with Community Impact Newspaper, Bob Baulsir, Trinity Metro senior vice president, said after extensive construction the Downtown ITC station in Fort Worth has completed construction; however, the Federal Railroad Administration needs to certify the area at Spur 280 where two rail lines converge is safe for train travel. With the government shutdown, this certificate may not come before the trains begin to run.
Baulsir said service from the North Side station to the DFW Airport will be unaffected, but officials are hopeful they will be able to provide full train service by the weekend.
“We are anticipating running the full schedule on Saturday,” Hanna said in an email. “We should know by week’s end if we have final approval to run the full route.”