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Don's Rail Photos

  Trinity Railway Express

On August 10, 1996, Irving, Texas, voters cast the votes which rapidly allowed Trinity Railway Express to get underway and astound all the naysayers. Irving was faced with one of the nastiest and divisive elections in its history. Under Texas law, 1996 was the year that Irving could elect to pull out of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. For ten years citizens had been paying an extra penny sales tax to support DART. This gave an 8.5% sales tax which is the highest permitted. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, wanted to use tax money to put a roof on the Texas Stadium and add sky box suites to increase his income. If it were not for the DART tax, the city could put on a 1/2 cent sales tax for stadium improvements. It was reported that Jones spent almost a half million dollars for the campaign. The other side had about $100,000, mostly from businesses which relied on DART to bring them their employes. The antis showed a bus with a SMART sign on it which stood for Sensible Metropolitan Area Rapid Transit. They proposed to set up a jitney service using an unknown company with no track record and no right to operate into Dallas. Thus Irving would have been isolated. The pros motto was "Keep Irving on Track" and emphasized the rail planning since Dallas already had the start of light rail. The vote was 3 to 1 in favor of DART.

Only 4 months later, on December 16th, Trinity Railway Express opened for business. Trains from Dallas and Fort Worth met in Irving for a ceremony. The cars had not yet arrived, except for one car which was only partially operable. Equipment was leased from Amtrak and from Connecticut DOT to provide for three train sets. One had Amtrak coaches and was a pull-pull. The other two used CDOT cars with a control car onn one end and an Amtrak locomotive on the other for push-pull service. Service began only during rush hours with busses running during off peak. Ridership kept growing , and the new cars began to arrive and get broken in. Eventually the leased equipment was gone. More people joined the riders. Early in 1998, the service was offered during off peak times during the day, and in the evening. There still is no Sunday service. The experts are amazed at the ridership, especially during off peak. The bus doesn't run any more except on weekends. Ridership is way over the bus ridership.

Our first photo was taken on opening day and shows RDC 2001 wrapped up as a gift. It looked great even if it did not run.

Here are photos of the Amtrak and CDOT equipment. Note that the TRE emblems were applied to much of the equipment.

The RDC's were remanufactured in Montreal and are as follows. The roster is courtesy of North Texas NRHS.

Here is a selection of all of the cars. Car 2007 is shown in Garland on display to herald the extension of rail service beyond Garland in the near future. When the extension to Fort Worth was nearing opening, the cars received a star emblem similar to that used on the equipment owned by The T.

2001, RDC1u, was built by Budd in May 1958, #6903, as Canadian Pacific 9070. It later became Via Rail Canada 6131 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2001.

2002, RDC1u, was built by Budd in January 1957, #6611, as CPR 9061. It later became Via Rail 6142 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2002.

2003, RDC1u, was built by Budd in March 1957, #6709, as CPR 9068. It was rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2003.  It was leased to Denton County Transportation Authority 2003 in 2011.

2004, RDC1u, was built by Budd in July 1954, #5923, as Canadian National D200. It later became Via Rail 6100 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2004.

2005, RDC1u, was built by Budd in April 1955, #6105, as Boston & Maine 6110. In July 1965 it became CNR D112. It later became Via Rail 6112 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2005

2006, RDC1u, was built by Budd in February 1957, #6617, as CPR 9063. It later became Via Rail 6123 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2006.  It was leased to DCTA 2006 in 2011.

2007, RDC1u, was built by Budd in January 1957, #6612, as CPR 9062. It later became Via Rail 6127 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2007.

2008, RDC1u, was built by Budd in August 1955, #6221, as CPR 9056. It later became Via Rail 6129 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2008.  It was leased to DCTA 2008 in 2011.

2009, RDC1u, was built by Budd in February 1957, #6619, as CPR 9064. It later became Via Rail 6139 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2009.  It was leased as DCTA 2009 in 2011.

2010, RDC1u, was built by Budd in August 1956, #6318, as CPR 9059. It later became Via Rail 6126 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2010.

2011, RDC1u, was built by Budd in June 1957, #6808, as CNR D106. In 1969 it later became Via Rail 6106 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2011.

2012, RDC1u, was built by Budd in June 1957, #6806, as CNR D104. In 1969 it later became Via Rail 6104 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2012.  It was leased to DCTA 2012 in December 2010.

2013, RDC1u, was built by Budd in June 1958, #6904, as CPR 9071. It later became Via Rail 6141 in 1969 and rebuilt in 1996 as DART 2013.  It was leased to DCTA 2013 in December 2010 and returned to TRE.

Trinity Railway Express is a joint operation of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transit Authority (The T). They have contracted with Herzog Transit Services to actually provide the service. Here are a few more photos. The car in the cut is between the Irving station and the maintenance facility which is near County Line Road. Then we have a picture at the Irving Station. The other photo was taken inside the shop itself.

Now what about the future? The T has purchased 4 locomotives and 20 double deck cars from the Government of Ontario Transit. The locomotives and 2 of the cars were delivered to Irving in August, 1997. The other 18 cars are in storage in Vermont. The 2 cars in Irving were on lease to Metra in Los Angeles. It is hoped to be able to trade several of the cars for cab control units. The locomotives are very low mileage. Thru service to Fort Worth should begin in 1999 or 2000. The RDC's will be used between Dallas and CentrePort. The T's push pull trains will make the Fort Worth-Dallas runs. It is expected that there will be more trains on the Dallas end of the line. CentrePort will also be the junction point for service to the DFW Airport. The current plans call for a rebuilding of the Airtrans system. Cars will operate from CentrePort to a terminal at the south entrance to the airport. There passengers will pass thru security and board other cars which will operate entirely within the secure area of the airport. This will allow people to go from terminal to terminal without having to go through security. The original cars were replaced in 2008 with new cars but it may be only be buses from TRE to the airport.  DART is planned to be a direct line from the airport to Dallas.

Construction of stations was a necessity. One such station is West Irving.

The maintenance and operation is under contract with Herzog.

The first part of the line, as far as Richland Hills, was opened on September 16, 2000, with regular service beginning on September 18th.

The first group of locomotives were purchased from GO and rebuilt by Amtrak with different head end power and a flashy paint scheme.  Two additional cars were added in 2001 and 3 engines from GO in 2009.  They were rebuilt and renumbered in 2010.

121, F59PH, was built by General Motors in July 1988, #A4752. FN C465-8, as Government of Ontario Transit 527, Class GCE-430g.  It was retired in December 2009 and sold as TRE 527 in 2009.  It was rebuilt by Relco in 2010 as 121.

123, F59PH, was built by General Motors in April 1994, #926354-4, FN 926354-4, as GOT 565, Class GCE-430m.  It was sold as TRE 565 in 1997 and rebuilt and upgraded by Relco in 2010 as 123.

124, F59PH. was built by General Motors in April 1994, #926354-5, FN 926354-5, as GOT 566, Class GCE-430m.  It was sold as TRE 566 in 1997 and upgraded by Relco in 2011 as 124.

125, F59PH, was built by General Motors in April 1994, #926354-6, FN 926354-6, as GOT 567, Class GCE-430m.  It was sold as TRE 567 in 1997 and upgraded by Relco in June 2011 as 125.

126, F59PH, was built by General Motors in April 1994, #926354-7, FN 926354-7, as GOT 568, Class GCE-430m.  It was sold as TRE 568 in 1997 and upgraded by Relco in 2010 as 126.

525, F59PH, was built by General Motors in July 1988, #A4750, FN C465-6, as GOT 525, Class GCE-430g.  It was retired in December 2008 and sold as TRE 525 in 2009.

528, F59PH, was built by General Motors in July 1988, #A4753, FN C465-9, as GOT 528, Class GCE-430g.  It was retired in December 2008 and sold as TRE 528 in 2009.

569, F59PHI, was built by General Motors in 2001, #20006242-1, FN 20006242-2.

570, F59PHI, was built by General Motors in 2001, #20006242-2, FN 20006242-2.

Control car 1000 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976 to GOT.  It was rebuilt by Bombardier in 2000.

Control car 1002 was built by Bombardier in July 2000.

Control car 1003 was built by Bombardier in July 2000.

Control car 1004 was built by Bombardier in 2003.

Control car 1005 was built by Bombardier in 2003.

Control car 1006 was built by Bombardier in 2003.

Control car 1007 was built by Bombardier in 2007.

Control car 1008 was built by Bombardier in 2007.

Control car 1009 was built by Bombardier in 2007.

Coach 1050 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976 as GOT 2000.  It was rebuilt by Amtrak in 2000 as TRE 1050.

Coach 1051 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976 as GOT 2001.  It was rebuilt by Amtrak in 2000 as TRE 1051.

Coach 1052 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976.  It was rebuilt by Amtrak in 200 as TRE 1052.

Coach 1054 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976 as GOT 2016.  It was rebuilt by Amtrak in 2000 as TRE 1054.

Coach 1058 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976 as GOT 2020.  It was rebuilt by Amtrak in 2000 as TRE 1058.

Coach 1059 was built by UTDC/Hawker-Siddeley in 1976.  It was rebuilt by Amtrak in 2000 as TRE 1059.

Coach 1060 was built by Bombardier in 2007.

Coach 1061 was built by Bombardier in 2009.

Coach 1062 was built by Bombardier in 2009.

Just as in the very beginning, when the Fort Worth service was extended, equipment was supplied by Amtrak since they did not have the rebuilt equipment ready.

 

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