Dallas-Fort Worth’s new TEXRail train system failed to launch on its target date of January 5, causing a tidal wave of negative feedback from potential riders. On its Facebook page, Trinity Metro cited an inability to get permission from the Federal Railroad Administration to operate all 27 miles of the rail corridor, a problem Trinity Metro officials claimed was caused by the current partial shutdown of the federal government. Officials finally received clearance from the FRA and have set the new launch date for Thursday, January 10.
However, there are questions as to whether or not the partial shutdown was truly to blame for the delayed service start. Mayor Oscar Trevino of North Richland Hills reported he’d been informed of issues with a number of TEXRail crossing signals and that these issues occurred while FRA officials were in town conducting their inspections. Trinity Metro itself also released a report confirming issues with their train signals stemming from installation of certain equipment. This isn’t the first hardware issue TEXRail has encountered. In 2013, the rail cars chosen by TEXRail came under fire for their light weight and difficulty connecting with the rail line’s electrical system.
TEXRail plans to provide service from the T&P Station in Fort Worth to DFW Airport Terminal B starting January 10. Some of the selling points for starting TEXRail with taxpayer funds were that it would lighten traffic congestion and help the environment, in spite of the fact that Trinity Metro’s own study found TEXRail would have little to no effect on either.