News Flash

City News

Posted on: November 29, 2018

TEXRail Update

TEXRail train

January 29, 2019 Update:

NRH residents are hearing train horns more frequently this week due to trail repairs and other work along the TEXRail route. The Federal Railroad Administration requires train engineers to blow their horn when workers are present, even in a quiet zone. Workers are currently making repairs to the Cotton Belt Trail that is adjacent to the tracks and completing other punch list and cleanup items in the railroad right of way and at the stations. As this work wraps up over the next few months, the sounding of train horns for this reason will subside.

While all 10 railroad crossings in North Richland Hills have been made quiet zones, residents may still hear train horns from time to time even after the construction work is done. A train engineer will sound the horn in emergencies and at the discretion of the crew when they feel it is necessary for safety. This may include a vehicle or person on the track, or a safety concern when entering or exiting a station.

The City of North Richland Hills reminds you to always obey railroad crossing signals. Never attempt to drive under a gate as it is closing, or around a closed gate. Never stop on the tracks. While walking and cycling in our community, stay on paved trails. For your safety it is illegal to walk on the tracks or take a shortcut across the tracks. Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.


January 10, 2019 Update: 

The TexRail commuter rail service started on Thursday, January 10, 2019. The 27-mile rail line runs from downtown Fort Worth to North Richland Hills, downtown Grapevine, and DFW International Airport Terminal B. TexRail stations are located at:

  • Fort Worth T&P Station, 221 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth
  • Downtown ITC/Fort Worth Station, 1001 Jones St., Fort Worth
  • North Side Station, 2829 Decatur Ave., Fort Worth
  • Mercantile Center Station, 4233 N. Beach St., Fort Worth
  • North Richland Hills/Iron Horse Station, 6531 Iron Horse Blvd., North Richland Hills
  • North Richland Hills/Smithfield Station, 6420 Smithfield Rd., North Richland Hills
  • Grapevine/Main Street Station, 801 S. Main St., Grapevine
  • DFW Airport North Station, 1867 Dallas Rd., Grapevine
  • DFW Terminal B Station

View the route map on the Trinity Metro website: https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/maps/

Through Jan. 31, you can ride TexRail for free.Train fare is $2.50 for a single ride or $5 for day pass. The day pass is good for all rail and bus services in Tarrant County. You can purchase tickets before boarding at a ticket vending machine on the train platform. Reduced fares are available. Learn more the Trinity Metro website: https://ridetrinitymetro.org/fares

TexRail trains run hourly and operate 365 days a year. View the schedule: https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/schedules/

Each rail car has 229 seats. There is a designated quiet car, level boarding, on-board bike racks, USB charging stations, seatback trays and overhead luggage storage.

Trinity Metro offers up to 18-hour parking at the TEXRail stations in North Richland Hills, so if you work a night shift or a double shift, or plan a day trip, you will be able to park in the TEXRail station lot. If you are planning to be out of town for two or more days, you should get a ride to the station and use the easy drop-off lanes. The issue regarding long term parking is that if the rail station lots fill up with travelers who are gone days or weeks at a time, then there will not be enough space for daily commuters to park. Options for long term parking are being explored and could be added at a later date. 


January 7, 2019 Update:

Trinity Metro made the following announcement this afternoon: 

"Trinity Metro has received word from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that the entire 27-mile TEXRail route has been approved for passenger service. We expect to begin full service from the T&P Station to DFW Airport’s Terminal B on Thursday, Jan. 10.

BACKGROUND: On Friday afternoon, Jan. 4, Trinity Metro discovered a signal issue that interrupted train operations. We determined the issue was caused by a hardware installation problem by our signal contractor. We are testing each piece of hardware to make sure that all components are working properly before we begin passenger service.

President/CEO Paul Ballard credits the FRA for continuing to work with Trinity Metro during a time when they are short-handed. “We greatly appreciate all of the efforts to move TEXRail from the testing phase to full service by all of the personnel at FRA.”

Service will be free from Jan. 10 through 31. Starting Feb. 1 one way fares will will be $2.50. View the station map and schedule.

Regarding the Quiet Zone in North Richland Hills, it did go into effect as scheduled over the weekend. Residents should now be hearing far fewer train horns than before. Keep in mind that a train engineer may still sound the horn in emergencies such as a vehicle or person on the track, workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew as needed for safety. Train engineers have also been blowing two short horns as they enter and leave each station, however this is not expected to be standard practice. We are currently working with Trinity Metro to reduce the horn noise at the stations. 

With the Quiet Zone in place we remind you to never stop on the tracks and to never go around lowered crossing arms for any reason. If you do so, you won't hear a train coming and it could cost you your life. Please review the railroad crossing safety information at the bottom of this page.


January 4, 2019 Update: 

Trinity Metro made the following announcement late today: "Trinity Metro TEXRail commuter rail service will not begin passenger service as planned on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. We have been unable to get clearance to operate the entire 27-mile corridor from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). We will announce the start of passenger service as soon as we obtain full clearance from the FRA to operate the entire railroad."

The City of North Richland Hills will share updates here and on our social media pages as we receive them from Trinity Metro. 

The delay in TEXRail service starting is not expected to delay the Quiet Zone in North Richland Hills. As a reminder, the Quiet Zone means trains will no longer routinely sound their horns at all crossings; however, they will still sound the horn when a vehicle or person are on the tracks or too close to the tracks. We remind everyone to never stop on the tracks and to never go around lowered crossing arms for any reason. If you do so, it could cost you your life. Please review the railroad crossing safety information at the bottom of this page. 

 

December Update:

Residents are noticing an increase in noise and activity on the train tracks in North Richland Hills as Trinity Metro increases testing of trains and crossing equipment in preparation for the new TEXRail commuter rail service that begins in January. The majority of these runs are taking place between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, although some are extending beyond those hours. The testing is required by the Federal Railroad Administration to certify the new train service. It is a lengthy, detailed process to ensure all trains and intersection crossings are working properly. Trinity Metro has indicated they will be running a full service schedule to complete the testing process during the two weeks prior to service starting on January 5. If you have questions about the process, please contact Trinity Metro at 817-215-8785 or info@texrail.com.

During this period, the train horn is required to sound at all crossings in North Richland Hills. We know that this time period is challenging for residents in close proximity to the crossings and we are doing everything we can to expedite the Quiet Zone process. Application for the Quiet Zone has been made to the Federal Railroad Administration and the Quiet Zone will be effective on January 5 when the new TEXRail service begins. Once the Quiet Zones are in place, you should hear far fewer train horns; however, a train engineer may still sound the horn in emergencies, such as a vehicle or person on the track or workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew, as appropriate. 

There are different options available to make a railroad crossing eligible for the Quiet Zone designation.  All ten of NRH’s crossings are receiving safety improvements and equipment necessary to qualify them for this designation.  In most crossing locations, a median is included, but is not always required.  The alternative to a median is to include a “quad gate” design, which means that there are gates across the roadway on both sides of the tracks.  With raised medians, the railroad is only required to provide gate arms on one side of the tracks since the median would prevent a driver from crossing into the oncoming lane to avoid the gate.

Both Eden Road and Holiday Lane are receiving the quad gate design with no median.  Browning, Rufe Snow, Iron Horse, Mid-Cities, Main Street, and Smithfield will have medians with two gated roadway legs.  Finally, Davis and Precinct Line will have both medians and quad gates. Again, all crossings in NRH will be part of the Quiet Zone.

More information about the new TEXRail service can be found at www.nrhtx.com/TEXRail and https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/.


Rail Crossing Safety

Please remind your family and friends to always obey railroad crossing signals. Never attempt to drive under a gate as it is closing, or around a closed gate. Never stop on the tracks and remember trains are wider than the tracks. Always stop behind the solid white line or at least 15 feet from the tracks. If the gate begins to close while you’re in the crossing, keep moving quickly ahead until you clear the crossing.

Even when things seem clear, look both ways at a crossing. If one train passes, make sure that a second isn’t approaching on another track. If there are no trains in sight, cross tracks quickly without stopping. 

While walking and cycling in our community, stay on paved walking and bicycling trails. For your safety it is illegal to walk on the tracks or take a shortcut across the tracks. Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. 

You can find more rail safety information on the Operation Lifesaver website at oli.org.

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