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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Tower 55 reroute

The Texas Eagle's Tower 55 reroute from its current Union Pacific tracks to Trinity Railway Express tracks has been in the news recently

Reasons for the reroute
  • It saves time
  • No more backing move at Fort Worth
  • The projected TEX Rail could transform the Dallas-Fort Worth area into a rail hub

Reasons against the reroute
  • The effort to reroute Amtrak trains onto TRE tracks was purely political
  • Amtrak delays north of Dallas or south of Fort Worth thanks to Sunset Route misadventures could adversely affect TRE trains
  • Removing the Eagle from the UPRR tracks could permanently result in the loss of access for future intra-Texas rail service

My personal thoughts
Although I do favor the separation of passenger and freight rights of way, I generally tend to support it in wide open rural areas as opposed to the Dallas-Fort Worth megaplex, which has sprawling suburbs.

The liability issue is doubly tricky since the T will be picking up the tab without any support from its TRE partner DART after the Fort Worth agency agreed to assume liability for accidents that involve the Eagle along its tracks.

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