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Member Since 27 Feb 2009
Offline Last Active Today, 05:27 PM

#106788 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on Today, 09:42 AM

It might be helpful if Tarrant Express Rail changed its logo from TE[red]X[/red]Rail to T[red]Ex[/red] Rail. Maybe that would be copying Fed[red]Ex[/red] to much for copyright infringement, but I believe more people will interpreted Ex as short for Express rather than EX.

Even changing TE[red]X[/red]to T[red]EX[/red] should make that clearer.

#106686 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 17 October 2017 - 09:43 PM

Keep us informed if the November 6 date remains on track. ;)


As for liveries, here's what other transit agencies have done on the latest Flirt 3 units.....

It is fun to compare......... ;)







Lodzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna




Rhein-IJssel Express








Newag dia PKP Intercity





Well, that's at least 10 different liveries, few if any used the opportunity to do anything fancy behind the cab where the main electrical cabinets are located. 


Maybe I'm thinking the TexRail livery isn't as bad as some of these. Maybe beauty is in the eye of the beholder? 

From a lazy point of view, a gray (silver) exterior paint job is the easiest to keep clean, or looks clean the longest between washes. 

#106469 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 09 October 2017 - 09:46 AM

What rename doesn't seem to get is that those of us along the route outside Fort Worth (NRH, Grapevine) aren't interested in paying our share for trains that pass us by.

 Yes, I remember the outcries when DART Express Bus #205, 206,208,210,211,278,282,283 and the more publicized MAX (Arlington) routes were implemented and the DART community telling DART that it isn't interested in paying for a bus that passed it by.

All those express bus services are done on streets with “multiple”lanes, you know where there are passing lanes for buses to pass one another and other traffic. Now imagine providing the same express service on a street with two way traffic with just “ONE” lane! Wouldn’t you need passing lanes added to street so the buses could actually pass each other? No amount of scheduling of the buses can overcome the lack of lanes........

#106151 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 26 September 2017 - 02:14 PM

What you think it should be and what it really is - is often very different.
haha I know that's right!
I represent the end user, not the engineer!   double track double platform - flyover bridge - whatever, I just want to take a non-stop train from the Water Gardens to the Airport!

If you want non-stop, door-to-door services from public transportation, I suggest calling Uber or Yellow cabs.

#106150 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by Electricron on 26 September 2017 - 02:06 PM

Lacking two city council members didnt cause the lack of a quorum, there were five council members missing.
Even the Star-Telegram conceded that this was a late maneuver in setting the tax rate process.
The tax rates were being lowered because the real estate evaluations had risen - to keep the amount of taxes faced by individual property owners the same. So this added 1cent to the property tax rates at the last second was actually a tax increase, although being disguised as a tax cut.
What FWTA needs is a referendum to increase its sales tax rate, so it can afford to provide much more from its own budget that it can control. Relying upon the good will of the city council on a year by year basis will Not be a reliable, steady source of income to do anything additional.

#106133 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 26 September 2017 - 07:46 AM

I'm no engineer or any sort of train connoisseur, but just like travel on a plane, direct flights are more desirable than connecting flights (to me, at least) and the same clearly would seem true on a train. If airport-downtown and downtown-airport trips are the most frequent, the reward should be quicker travel with fewer stops along the way. From the end user point of view, quick service cannot be ignored.


I've always thought beyond the double track requirement, another slot would be necessary at the stations being skipped.... something like, while the local train is loading and unloading from a third track, a station embarkation track, the express train just passes the station....  

What you think it should be and what it really is - is often very different. 

It's been my experience in life that everything is usually built by the cheapest bidder using the cheapest labor and cheapest materials possible. Few buyers go out of their way to buy the most expensive item when a cheaper item does the job satisfactory. 


Not even every TexRail station will be double tracked with two platforms. DFW North, Ironsides, and Beach stations will only be single track with single platforms - per the FEIS. They're only double tracking just enough track and stations to support 30 minute headways. The meets are set to occur at specific locations by the scheduling of the trains. If one train is early, it must wait for the train arriving on time to clear the track ahead before it can proceed. There are no advantages arriving early. If one train is late, the other train must wait on it. Passengers waiting on trains sitting stationary at signals usually are not very happy.  Shucks, most drivers in their cars waiting on traffic signals usually aren't very happy too.

#106131 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 26 September 2017 - 01:06 AM

I've looked through the TexRail FEIS drawings once again, to identify where TexRail will be double tracking the corridor..

Here's the layout upon initiating service.

Double tracks at DFW station, double tracks at downtown Grapevine, double tracks at Smithfield Station, double tracks plus an additional freight only track at Northside (28th Street) Station, double tracks at ITC, although only one track will have a platform for TexRail cars, and double tracks at T&P Station. You will not be able to speed through the end stations, so that leaves just three stations where express trains can pass other trains, Northside at MP 15, Smithfield at MP 24, and downtown Grapevine at MP 33. FYI, DFW Airport is at MP 36 and T&P is at MP 0. Note these stations are around 9 miles apart, 10 to 11 minutes travel time apart.

They estimate 53 minutes runtime from end to end, and plan 30 minute headways during peak rush hours.


So let's assume a 7 am departure from DFW, it should get to Grapevine in 5 minutes (1 station in between) adds another minute or so, at let's say 7:05, it should get to Smithfield in another 11 minutes, let's say 7:16, it should get to Northside in another 13 minutes (2 stations in between adds 2 minutes), let's say 7:29, and get to T&P in 19 minutes (1 station in between adds 1 minute) at 7:48.  Not quite the 53 minutes projected, so i'm around 5 minutes off somewhere. It's easy to figure out approximate times in one direction, now we have to make it work in the opposite direction.

Working backwards from where the trains must meet, 19 minutes displaced at least. So the train leaves T&P at 7:10, arrives 19 minutes later at Northside at 7:29 (a perfect meet), 13 minutes later at Smithfield at 7:42, and 11 minutes later at Grapevine at 7:53 and 5 minutes later pulling into DFW at 7:58.

Now will trains running 30 minutes later in both directions met at the appropriate places at the correct times? Let's start northbound first, leaving T&P at 7:40 we crash around 7:44, unless we meet at ITC using the wrong size platform? If we're lucky we reach Northside at 7:59, Smithfield at 8:12, Grapevine at 8:23, and arriving DFW at 8:29

Now lets look at the 30 minute later southbound, leaving DFW at 7:30, reaching Grapevine at 7:35, reaching Smithfield at 7:46 (we're 4 minutes off at Smithfield (need a little tweaking of my projected times), reaching Northside at 7:59(timing perfect), and completes the run at T&P at 8:18. 

With just there 4 train running in both directions 30 minutes apart, we needed Northside, Smithfield, and ITC meets. we avoided needing to have a fourth meet because the trains run the distance in less than an hour, so you could say they're meeting again at DFW and T&P. The only passing siding we didn't need to use in my example was Grapevine. I could have tried forcing a meet there instead of at Northside, who know how that one would have turned out? 

I don't see how it is possible to run an express train skipping stations at a faster pace that wouldn't disrupt the timing of all the train meets. And we still have to account for the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, which per chance, will not be running on the corridor during peaks, but when the trains are running at 60 or 90 minute headways instead of 30. It too will have to have a pretty strict schedule for the meets to happen properly, ;)

#106086 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 24 September 2017 - 12:34 AM

Maybe an explanation of track blocks and signals will help explain better than I.





The way to get a train to overtake another is to use a passing loop, which will be present as most station locations. Not every station on the TRE line initially had two platforms and a passing loop. 

A train one rail block behind a train going in same direction will see a red stop signal at the next signal. A train two rail blocks behind a train going in the same direction will see a yellow, medium approach signal which limits the train speed to a lower speed. To see a green go fast signal a train will have to have two rail blocks in front of it clear.  

Because the express train should be following the regular train by at least three rail blocks, when the regular train stops at a station the express train will reach a yellow signal making it slow down when it enters the second rail block. by the time it reaches the first rail block, the regular train should have left the station. But, if the switches were thrown at the passing siding or loop, to clear two blocks ahead of the express train, it will continue to see green signals and continue to go fast. it should see a yellow signal approach medium so as to take the switches at a slower speed at the passing loop. When the switches were thrown, the regular train now sees a red stop signal. And it will not see a yellow signal until the express train leaves the first block in front of it. So to pass a slower train with a faster train, 4 rail blocks will have to be clear of traffic coming from both directions. The regular train passed will have to sit as long as it will take the express train to travel through 4 rail blocks. That will make the regular train at least 10 minutes late, possibly 20 minutes late, depending upon how fast the express train travels through the 4 rail blocks.  If per chance there is another train coming in the opposite direction that was going to use the passing loop, than the express train will not be able to use it. The train coming from the opposite direction will use it, then allow both our regular and express trains to pass through, before it could proceed in its direction. It gets very complicated to make overtaking trains work in a single track environment with trains running in opposite directions. What usually occurs in situations like this with frequent trains running in both directions, is the express train leads the regular train. But neither Amtrak nor the TRE are going to wait any longer than possible, as soon as a yellow signal is present the engineer will put their train into motion. it's unlikely both trains will want to leave at the same time. But that was an Amtrak train that rarely runs on time. A scheduled express with all the trains running on schedule would be easier to set up to work - with the express train going first. But at EVERY station along the route, the express train will fly through the station at speed with passengers waiting on the platform for the next regular train. 

In New York's subways, express trains run on quad track lines, with the slower trains running next to the platforms and the express trains running on the tracks away from the platforms. Where the express trains stop, there will be an additional island platform for the express tracks and trains. Quad tracks is a far cry away from single track operations. 

#106052 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 23 September 2017 - 09:28 AM

How fast does an express train go on a mostly single track line?
Heres a YouTube video of the Texas Eagle on the TRE corridor, proceeding slower than most tRE trains....
Theres a reason why it is going so slow, the tracks sections ahead of it have a slower train on it.
To actually go at its maximum allowed speed of 79 mph the entire way, it needs a clear track ahead of it. More double tracking will be needed, and the TREis already half the way doubled track. An express train on the TexRail corridor would proceed even slower because it will not have as much double track as the TRE has today.
Thats a slow train in my humble opinion, not an express train!

#105962 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by Electricron on 19 September 2017 - 07:43 AM

How does anything in El Paso have an effect on transit in Tarrant County?

#105950 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 18 September 2017 - 08:19 PM

I believe it is more important for the city to make life easier for its own citizens first. Local governments should be investing into the life of its own citizens first and foremost. We shouldn't build a streetcar line to connect visitors to the cultural district - we should be building streetcars, or any other transit project, to connect citizens to the cultural district, citizens to downtown, citizens to the historic district, citizens to commercial districts, and citizens to each other. If per chance visitors also use these facilities, that's dandy.
It would be a bad thing to build something aimed for tourists that can't or won't be used by local citizens.

#105835 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 15 September 2017 - 08:31 AM



And LOSSAN is more than half way through the process of double tracking the rest of the corridor. By the Amtrak implements express train services, the corridor will be almost 90% double tracked...


But wasn't there express train service between Los Angeles and San Diego even though you said it could not be done.


I didn't say it couldn't be done, I said express services would require more double tracking than what FWTA is installing. 

Amtrak runs what you might call an express train between Dallas and Fort Worth today over the TRE corridor. Note the TRE corridor is around 50% double tracked. And the Amtrak train will stop and wait at signals at times for TRE trains to pass. Check out the train's schedules, the TRE publishes around an hour to travel between the downtowns, so does Amtrak. Therefore, it is only an express train in name, skipping all the intermediate station stops but not going much faster. Ever wondered why? Again, it's the timing when meeting other trains over the single track sections of track.

#105834 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by Electricron on 15 September 2017 - 08:19 AM

 Is there actually a law prohibiting multiple transportation agencies within the same jurisdiction.

Yes, there is. Check out all the various sections (chapters) of the Texas Transportation Codes.....

The reason, to avoid being taxed twice for the same purpose (transit). 

#105748 TEX Rail project

Posted by Electricron on 14 September 2017 - 12:55 AM

Including DART was an attempt to be sensitive to their passengers. I can understand how it would be a scheduling problem for DART use its light rail tracks for express trains because it involves multiple line and juggling their schedule and the ripple effect it would have network wide.


However, I think that TexRail could schedule express trains between Downtown Fort Worth and DFW simply because the commuter rail line is fundamentally different from the light rail network used by DART.  TexRail would establish windows of time when a train would travel non-stop between the two terminals, ITC and DFW with AM/NOON/4:00PM Express to DFW from the ITC.  Anyway the possibility is there for TexRail to fit the express trains into its schedule because it is not apart of a great network. TRE repositions trains each morning.

FWTA is only installing enough double track (passing sidings) to meet it's planned schedule. The passing sidings are place strategically so the trains in opposite directions meet as they stop at every station. Change just the fact the trains will not be stopping at stations will destroy the meet timing, and what you'll get will be express trains waiting at signals for regularlar trains to pass. And that my friend, will not be an express train.....

As I wrote earlier, they will need many more double tracks than what they're building......

#105688 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by Electricron on 12 September 2017 - 02:16 AM

"The city funds the T with a half-cent of the city’s sales tax. In 2017, the amount was about $68 million. Austin, which is a little larger in population than Fort Worth, spends $199 million on its public transportation. Dallas spends $538 million."


And we wonder why we can't have nice things.



Both Austin and Dallas are funded with a full penny sales tax rate, not a half penny. Fort Worth could double its funding by getting a full penny sale tax referendum win. But the city council is unlikely to approve loosing $68 million in revenues. 


The appropriate time to do so was back when they had the referendum for the half penny sales tax.  Once FWTA showed disinterest, the city found other ways to use the remaining half penny sales tax. Few politicians will leave a tax capability idle, there are going to finds ways to use it.