If Amtrak and TxDOT Can Swing It, You'll Be Able to Take Train From Dallas to Shreveport

Categories: Transportation
AmtrakRoutetoShreveport.JPG
Saw that AP piece this morning about how Amtrak and the Texas Department of Transportation are looking at connecting Dallas-Fort Worth to Shreveport-Bossier City, which would involve inserting a stop at the Trinity Railway Express's CentrePort/DFW Airport station. But the piece isn't clear: Should this study prove such a line feasible, will you also be able to take the train from downtown Dallas's Union Station to Louisiana (and its many fine casinos)?

Reason I ask: The actual press release announcing the look-see -- to be funded with around  $265,000 in federal dough -- contains the map you see above. And as you can see, the new route very much includes Union Station among the stops along the proposed route -- which is more or less an extension of the existing Texas Eagle route that connects San Antonio to Chicago through Dallas. The only difference is: The train would no longer head north once it hits Marshall. And: There could be new stops added in Mesquite, Forney, Terrell and Wills Point.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari tells Unfair Park this morning this shouldn't be too hard to make happen: "The tracks work," he says. "There's not a need for some elaborate connection. Two weeks when the Union Pacific had a temp track closure we went on the TRE for a couple of days. We use the TRE as an alternative route already. Right now our train makes both those stops -- at Union Station and the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. What we're looking at is moving them to the TRE, which means they make the same stops but also pass through CentrePort, which makes it attractive."

[Update at 11:22 a.m. Saturday: Magliari wants to clarify something. He says, via email: "While it is true there is a physical connection that we have used to reach the TRE between Dallas and Fort Worth, an agreement between Amtrak and TRE to use these tracks on a daily basis for the Texas Eagle or these proposed trains has not yet been made."]

The report's due by year's end.
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34 comments
Neroden
Neroden

TXDOT probably wants this for people from the east taking day trips to Dallas-Ft Worth, but I think Louisiana wants it to attract tourists.

jimi
jimi

I realize it's fashionable to hate everything when commenting on the internet now, however, this article got me curious. According to Amtrak, a trip from Ft. Worth to Austin takes 4 hr. and 20 minutes and costs $27.00. Going from Dallas is longer as there is an hour or so layover. The train also has a lounge car and dining car. Let's see, spending over 3 hours in DFW and Austin traffic dodging semis, drunks, and speed traps vs. 4 hrs. with a friend or two in a lounge car. 

trudat
trudat

...so; is there no love for the Oklahoma casinos?????

Head East
Head East

I might need to head to that bayou state once my power browns out and my lakes run dry.

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

Terrible idea.

 Put that money into a high speed rail system connecting business...Dal-Hou, SA, Aus, to North Texas, etc. Better yet just get public transportation from Dallas to GP and Arlington....That will work.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Let's go TX DOT and Amtrack there are many people ready to ride with gas 4.00 peer gallon.

Dallasite
Dallasite

Shreveport? Is that not about the same distance as Austin? #placesworthvisiting

Jacob
Jacob

I wish they would run that line about 25 miles south and have it run through Tyler.  Or add a spur line from Mineola to Tyler.  No such luck though I'm sure.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Passenger rail service in Texas is a novelty, we have it so that we can say, look. we have trains, but its just not time effecient to actually make a difference in peoples choice between driving and flying

LaceyB
LaceyB

That's potentially a $150,000 bet that could turn into $300,000 with a 7 or 11 on the come out. Or to nothing with a 7 any other time at a $5 table.

It's been way too long since I've played craps.

Jon
Jon

all i know is that it takes and "estimated" 10 to 10.5 hours to take the train from Dallas to San Antonio. it's just way too ridiculous. they have to share with shipping lines.

if it were a clean 5.5 to 6 hours i'd take it to SA.

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

Cool idea. Too bad it will take like 6 hours to get there. Face it, the USA needs to revamp its rail system.

Octuplicate
Octuplicate

I suspect most potential gamblers have a daytrip to Shreveport in mind.  Good luck with that on Amtrak!  Suppose the trip over goes well; ya lose $300 and head back.  Amtrak leaves Shreveport on time, but the Texas Eagle from Chicago is running five hours late - happens all the time.  Now, the daytripper will sit around the Marshall station - let's say in a driving rain or sub-zero temperatures - waiting for the Eagle to arrive, hook up the Shreveport car and return to Dallas.  Not a happy daytripper and not very likely to do that again. 

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

As long as AMTRAK owns the rails Great .If they don't A trip on that Main line could take eight hours Because FRIGHT HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY like it does on the way down to San Antonio..Lots of getting out of the way so the Track owner can get the real money making stuff through.

Makes it a long trip.

 

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I'd prefer taking the train between here and points all-around. Here's hoping AMTRAK is smart and doesn't charge an arm & leg for the round trip..

Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter

Translation: The state is doing a "study" to justify the decision that someone has already made to use our tax dollars to pay for rail service for a dozen people a day to go spend their money in Louisiana because our paternalistic betters in Austin won't let them gamble in Texas.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It's easy to set up and attractive, so which airline is going to lobby against it to keep it from happening? AA or Southwest, start yer bitchin!

It's pathetic our rail system is decades behind what you can find in Europe or Asia. At least it's better than Australia's...

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

It amazes me that we don't utilize the rail system to it's full potential in this area. Growing up in the NE, the train is the best way to go-it's scenic, peaceful and economic.  Ever Sit in traffic on the GW Bridge, or Penn Turnpike?  We used to take the train into South Station in Boston in the 90's, and it was awesome.  That's it....I'm GOING on a regional train ride here soon-maybe New Mexico?

Some Guy Downtown
Some Guy Downtown

Have you ever taken Amtrak? They fluctuate prices up until departure time. It's annoying as hell. Last time I took Amtrak in the northeast I made damn sure to take the Metro North line back. It was much cheaper, and just as comfortable as Amtrak. Best of all? The prices didn't change throughout the day. 

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

But when you say it like that it sounds so negative.

pak152
pak152

 suggest you take a look at a map of Europe and a map of this country. Rail works in Europe because of population density. the only place where it really works in this country is the NE Corridor.Passenger rail was always a money losing proposition for the railroads. the money is in freight

as for lobbying against a DFW to Shreveport route won't happen because there isn't enough traffic there to begin with. the real competition would come from Megabus http://us.megabus.com/ which could add more buses to a route quicker than a RR can add a train consist.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Does the Centerport connect to DFW? That would let people  take the train from Louisiana to the airport, which would help the airlines.

Alfredo
Alfredo

In the NE corridor Amtrak owns the track, everywhere else Amtrak has to share the tracks with lots of slow moving freight trains.  The current Texas Eagle schedule from Marshall to Dallas is 3 1/2 hours so we are not talking high speed rail. 

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Metro North.... just as comfortable as Amtrak???   Ummm... I defy you to find any New York or Connecticut resident who would share your sentiments.

Branden Helms
Branden Helms

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

First, we aren't talking intra-city rail, where population density matters more. Speed matters more when talking longer distance. The places where the trains are fastest have the greater ridership. Density shows little effects on that equation.

Second, you are incorrect when you state that passenger rail was always a money losing proposition. While they may not have made as much as freight, transporting passengers was profitable in the 1800's and the first third of the 1900's. It wasn't until the widespread subsidization of auto infrastructure and air traffic that passenger profits started to take a hit.

Mervis
Mervis

Yes, but it is a bus connection.

Anniewilson55
Anniewilson55

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sizzler
sizzler

yeah i loved riding the rail...but it took me 6.5 hours to get from Austin to Dallas....

pak152
pak152

 "widespread subsidization of auto infrastructure and air traffic that passenger profits started to take a hit."auto infrastructure I assume means roads, if correct don't forget the gas tax and others that go to support the road system. you might want to pick up a copy of Big Roads http://www.amazon.com/The-Big-... which is a good history of how our road system was developed in the 20th. Roads had to be developed as you couldn't build railroads everywhere, roads, highways, canals, air are all part of an intricate transportation system. Passenger rail is good for transporting large numbers of people over distances of less than 250 miles. intercity bus travel as exemplified by Megabus and others is the smarter wayhttp://www.newgeography.com/co...http://www.businessweek.com/ma...

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