On December 30, the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will celebrate 25 years of providing regional rail service across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
The TRE has a chance for you to win free rides as part of their celebration. TRE is offering riders the opportunity to win 25 days of free rides. Participants who share their fondest TRE memories have a chance to win 25 regional day passes. Entries will be accepted through January 2, 2022 at www.trinityrailwayexpress.org.
The TRE debuted on December 30, 1996, not long after the starter line for DART's light rail system began operations. Running between what is now EBJ Union Station and South Irving Station, the 10-mile commuter rail line enjoyed more than 4,000 riders during its first day of operation.
Trains initially were leased from Amtrak and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, while the TRA awaited delivery in March and April of 1997 thirteen Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDC's). The Budd Company cars (pictured) were built in the 1950's and ran on Via Rail Canada routes. The cars could be coupled together for short-haul service as Diesel Multiple Units (DMU's). Most of the RDC's found a temporary home on the Denton County "A Train" service in 2010 and 2011 between Denton and Carrollton. The RDC's remained in service until March 2011 and were subsequently sold. The majority of the RDC's now reside in Vermont for a planned regional service.
Service initially operated only during Monday through Friday rush hours. Midday and evening service was added in December 1997. In December 1998 Saturday service at 90 minute intervals was added. By September 2000 the line was extended to Richland Hills and offered rail service for the first time to DFW International Airport between downtown Dallas and the Centreport Station with an airport bus connection.
On December 3, 2001, the TRE finally realized its full vision. Stretching from Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station all the way to the Fort Worth T&P Station by Downtown Fort Worth, the TRE has developed from a rush-hour-only commuter service to a regional rail system to serve the needs of residents across North Texas. Today Trinity Railway Express operates 72 trains weekdays and 42 trains on Saturday between Dallas and Fort Worth. Still lacking is regular Sunday service, which is only available for special events.
The rail line was established under an interlocal agreement between Trinity Metro in Fort Worth and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) in Dallas. Each of the transit agencies hold a 50% stake in the joint venture. Herzog Transit Services operates the trains. The line from downtown Dallas to Fort Worth runs along a former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad line that the cities purchased in 1983 for $34 million.