Taxpayers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have yet another reason to be concerned with their expensive new public rail.

During the past weekend, several railroad crossing arms failed to lower at intersections along the TEXRail train line, potentially putting car drivers at risk of an oncoming high-speed train.

TEXRail is the train line connecting Fort Worth to DFW Airport that has cost taxpayers across America $1 billion and been plagued with problems. The expensive rail was built despite studies showing it will not improve the environment or traffic congestion.

The City of Colleyville, where the most recent safety problems occurred, addressed the safety problem by deploying electronic warning signs at the malfunctioning intersections to caution drivers.

As of March 10, TEXRail said the error had been fixed, but recently the City of Colleyville’s Facebook page released a warning that it was happening again, complete with a photo of a train passing through a road intersection with half of the crossing arms still up. Colleyville’s post advised drivers to be cautious when crossing the train tracks and informed them that TEXRail had been notified of the problem.

On Friday morning, Texas Scorecard contacted Trinity Metro, who governs TEXRail, to learn the status of the situation. Around 5:30 p.m., TEXRail Communications Coordinator Brian Murnahan relayed to us that all issues had been resolved.

Texas Scorecard also reached out to the City of Colleyville.

Erin Spicer, who is a community relations specialist for the city, noted that when the city discovered the issues were reoccurring, they attempted to reach out to Trinity Metro but were met with voicemails.

In his reply to our inquiry, Colleyville City Manager Jerry DuCay wrote “TexRail staff is examining programming changes to eliminate such malfunctions in the future. We will meet early next week to discuss the corrective action undertaken. The city of Colleyville continues to work with TexRail/Trinity Metro to ensure the safety of rail crossings within our community.”

In TEXRail’s statement addressing the original malfunction from the past weekend, they noted that only the exit arms neglected to lower, not the entrance ones. This, however, was not a satisfactory answer for Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton.

“It doesn’t matter if it was on the exit arm or not, it was a malfunction; and when the signaling system malfunctions, it concerns everyone,” he said.

Newton and the City of Colleyville are unique for publicly opposing TEXRail, a wise move considering the ongoing problems with the train line.

Taxpayers should demand answers for why TEXRail continues to fail—before any potentially disastrous consequences occur.

Information in this article has been updated since it was originally published.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


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