FORT WORTH, Texas -- By the end of 2018, commuters are expected to be able to sit in quiet comfort while someone else takes them from downtown Fort Worth to DFW Airport in just 52 minutes.
"As opposed to being white-knuckled in the middle of all that traffic, not really knowing when I'm going to get there," said Bob Baulsir, vice president of the TEXRail project, who expects to be among the first to benefit from the 27-mile rail line.
It's expected to carry as many as 8,000 riders a day when the long-awaited project is completed.
"We're moving along at a pretty fast pace," he said while providing WFAA's close look at the Equipment Maintenance Facility under construction in Fort Worth. The facility will house the European-designed diesel trains, the first of their kind in the United States. The trains are currently being assembled in Salt Lake City, Utah. The trains are fully wheel-chair accessible, level with each train platform, with space provided for strollers and bike racks.
"It's really state of the art. It's quiet. It's efficient, and certainly more comfortable. It's going to be a premium service," Baulsir said. "And on top of that, I'm going to pay less to ride the train than I have to pay to park [at DFW]."
Multiple station locations are also in various stages of construction along the route that will also connect Fort Worth with North Richland Hills and Grapevine.
A commuter option Tarrant County planners say has been desperately needed for years. By 2035, they predict as many as 14,000 commuters will use the service each day.
"It's a better way to travel. And for sure, from downtown Fort Worth to the airport, it's going to be the way to go," Baulsir said.