Red tape delays Amtrak improvements in DFW area

September 11, 2015

FORT WORTH – Amtrak has a reputation for delays on the railroad tracks, one that has now moved into negotiating rooms.

The passenger railroad’s Texas Eagle route that runs through Fort Worth twice a day — once northbound to Chicago the other southbound to San Antonio — arrives at its stations on time only about 31 percent of its trips, according to Amtrak statistics.

“They’ll come on the speaker and say, ‘There’s a problem on the freight tracks ahead. We’re stuck.’ And we’ll sit there, sometimes for an hour,” said Melina Sanchez of San Antonio, a regular Amtrak customer who was recently waiting for the Texas Eagle at Fort Worth’s Intermodal Transportation Center.Website Insert Fleet for Sale or Lease copy

As for the negotiating-room delays, the latest example is playing out in Fort Worth, where a nearly 7-year effort to move Amtrak onto less-crowded Trinity Railway Express tracks to speed up its on-time performance remains unresolved.

And a $7.2 million chunk of federal stimulus funding awarded to the project in January 2010, as part of an effort to get the nation’s economy going, remains unspent. The money would be used to construct a second track along the TRE line in the Valley View area, between CentrePort and West Irving stations. Though not required for Amtrak to begin running on the TRE tracks, double-tracking will make it easier for multiple trains to run on the TRE line simultaneously.
Read reporter Gordon Dickson’s full story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram by clicking here.

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