Not sure what the new service changes are? Need to know the 411 on positive train control? Now you can #AskDCTA! In our new monthly blog series, our customer service team will be answering frequently-asked rider questions to better engage with our riders and improve their experience when riding DCTA.
For the month of October, Samantha Balderas – Customer Communications Specialist – gives us insight on our A-train Rail Trail and progress on construction!
- What is DCTA’s A-train Rail Trail?
Our A-train Rail Trail runs alongside our commuter rail line and was designed to complement its surroundings and adjacent facilities. The trail will connect existing facilities with key destinations within our member cities – Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village.
The entire trail is approximately 19 miles long. Once complete, the rail trail will connect all five A-train stations starting from the Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC) all the way to the Hebron station in Lewisville. The trail will provide pedestrians and cyclists a safe opportunity to travel the entire trail or take a break along the way and ride the A-train.
The trail is part of our ongoing efforts to provide safe, customer-focused, and efficient mobility solutions to Denton County.
- When Will Construction on the Rail Trail be Completed?
The rail trail is estimated to be completed by fall 2019. Construction for the A-train Rail Trail is broken down in to three phases:
The first portion of the trail between the DDTC and Swisher Road was completed in conjunction with the A-train construction in 2011.
We completed the four miles from the Hebron Station to Mill and Jones in downtown Lewisville in 2016. Plans for the trail from the Highland Village/Lake Lewisville station to downtown Lewisville are complete, and we will award the construction contract October 2018. Construction is expected to begin in December 2018.
The portion of the trail between Swisher Road and the Highland Village/Lake Lewisville station (which goes over Lewisville Lake) was completed in summer 2018.
Download the A-train Rail Trail map by clicking here.
- What are some amenities along the A-train Rail Trail?
Pedestrians and cyclists can utilize rest areas with benches along the trail along with trash cans in some areas. We have received community enhancements funds for landscaping and benches for the Denton portion of the rail trail.
Z crossing fences were recently installed for the safety of cyclists, riders, pedestrians, and all those who use the trail.
- What is the Purpose of Z Crossing Fencing?
The z crossing fencing is a recommended safety feature by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).
The purpose of the z crossing fences is to get cyclists to dismount, look both ways, and safely walk their bikes across the rail tracks.
We plan to install more z crossing fencing at where the trail crosses the tracks. In addition, will install reflective surfaces on the fencing to help with visibility, and adjust the depth to make it easier to navigate with cargo and other large bikes. DCTA will continue to keep rider feedback about the fencing design under consideration for future rail trail installations.
- How is the A-train Rail Trail being Funded?
The estimated construction cost of the rail trail is $14 million. The total cost could change once the trail construction is complete in 2019.
The A-train Rail Trail is funded by several entities:
- Phase one was funded with local money in conjunction with the construction of DCTA’s A-train commuter rail line in 2011.
- Phase three of the trail above Lewisville Lake was constructed with the I-35E project funds.
- The remaining phases of the trail are being funded by the Federal Highway Associate (FHWA) grants administered by the TxDOT, Denton County, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and DCTA.
For more A-train Rail Trail updates, visit RideDCTA.net.
We hope Samantha helped answer all of your questions about the A-train Rail Trail! Have another question you want our customer service team to answer? Here’s how you can submit them:
- Send your feedback via our GORequestonline customer service tool and choose the menu option “#AskDCTA Series”
- Post your question on our Twitteror Facebook page (be sure to use #AskDCTA)
- Drop a note in the comments section on our Hop on Board blog.