Saw that AP piece this morning about how Amtrak and the Texas Department of Transportation are looking at connecting Dallas-Fort Worth to Shreveport-Bossier City, which would involve inserting a stop at the Trinity Railway Express's CentrePort/DFW Airport station. But the piece isn't clear: Should this study prove such a line feasible, will you also be able to take the train from downtown Dallas's Union Station to Louisiana (and its many fine casinos)?
Reason I ask: The actual press release announcing the look-see -- to be funded with around $265,000 in federal dough -- contains the map you see above. And as you can see, the new route very much includes Union Station among the stops along the proposed route -- which is more or less an extension of the existing Texas Eagle route that connects San Antonio to Chicago through Dallas. The only difference is: The train would no longer head north once it hits Marshall. And: There could be new stops added in Mesquite, Forney, Terrell and Wills Point.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari tells Unfair Park this morning this shouldn't be too hard to make happen: "The tracks work," he says. "There's not a need for some elaborate connection. Two weeks when the Union Pacific had a temp track closure we went on the TRE for a couple of days. We use the TRE as an alternative route already. Right now our train makes both those stops -- at Union Station and the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. What we're looking at is moving them to the TRE, which means they make the same stops but also pass through CentrePort, which makes it attractive."
[Update at 11:22 a.m. Saturday: Magliari wants to clarify something. He says, via email: "While it is true there is a physical connection that we have used to reach the TRE between Dallas and Fort Worth, an agreement between Amtrak and TRE to use these tracks on a daily basis for the Texas Eagle or these proposed trains has not yet been made."]
The report's due by year's end.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.