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Train horns are required by federal law to be sounded at all public crossings, 24 hours a day, to warn motorists and pedestrians that a train is approaching. A quiet zone is a stretch of track where the Federal Railroad Administration has agreed that trains are not required to routinely sound the horn at each public crossing except in emergencies, such as someone on the track or workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew, as appropriate.
The City of North Richland Hills is working with the Trinity Metro and their contractors to establish Quiet Zone crossings throughout North Richland Hills. We anticipate the Quiet Zone will be in place when the new rail service begins on January 5. You can find more information and updates about the Quiet Zone here.
At the rail stations there are certain bells and horns that the system is required to use to alert passengers of an incoming/outgoing train to/from the station during operating hours.
Trinity Metro will offer 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.
Service is projected to begin January 5, 2019. The daily service schedule can be found at https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/schedules/.
Depending on each location and the speed of the train when crossing, it will clear most intersections in about a minute, generally less time than is required by a normal traffic signal cycle. Some crossings may be a little longer due to unique circumstances at that particular crossing.
Median barriers are a safety enhancement that restrict driver access to the opposing lanes and prevent vehicle drivers from driving through or around lowered crossing gates. These barriers have shown a significant reduction in the number of vehicle violations at crossing gates. For railroad crossings to be designated as a Quiet Zone, safety enhancements such as the median barriers must be in place.
Studies have shown that this DMU type of train creates 72% less pollution and 75% less noise than a standard locomotive. The TEXRail Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) shows that the sound level for these trains at full throttle is under 75 dBA at 50 feet (equivalent to the sound of a household vacuum cleaner) and below 50 dBA at 100 feet (equivalent to the sound of a normal level conversation). In addition, the railroad bed is being reconstructed and new concrete rail ties installed. This will reduce the sound and vibration coming from the track itself.
The City of North Richland Hills has established “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD) districts around both station locations to allow mixed use development that will be accessed by the transit stop in a walkable environment.
Developments in the Smithfield area include:
Developments in the Iron Horse area include:
Given the limited amount of vacant land remaining in NRH and the continued desirability and attractiveness of our community, the Iron Horse and Smithfield areas would have developed in one form or another even without TEXRail. The rail station provides an opportunity for more efficient, higher quality and higher value development in these areas.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments and regional transportation authorities have been planning for more than a decade to extend passenger rail service to many communities in Tarrant, Dallas, Denton and Collin counties with connections to the existing transit systems in Dallas and Fort Worth.
In 2007, North Richland Hills was designated for future TEXRail stops by the North Central Texas Council of Governments and Fort Worth Transportation Authority (now known as Trinity Metro) and the city updated its Comprehensive Land Use Plan to incorporate the two commuter rail districts.
In 2009, the city held public hearings and adopted zoning codes and development regulations to guide future development in the Iron Horse and Smithfield stations.
In 2015, the City formalized an agreement with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (Trinity Metro) for the two rail station locations.
Please review the additional FAQs located on the TEXRail website: https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/about-texrail/faqs/. You are also welcome to contact NRH Planning & Development at 817-427-6330 with any questions that you have.