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Trains to and from Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW)

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is the largest airport in Texas, and one of the busiest airports in the world, handling over fifty-five million passengers per year. In terms of passenger numbers, the airport is ranked as the eighth busiest in the world, and as the third busiest in terms of aircraft movements. This major airport in the United States of America is considered to be an ‘Airport City’, consisting of five terminals that serve as main hubs for airline carriers such as American Airlines and American Eagle. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is located between the two cities of which its name consists, Dallas and Fort Worth, and has the official airport code of DFW. Passengers can travel by rail to and from the airport, as well as by bus or taxi. The airport railway station is very nearby the terminals, and provides regular train services to many other stations in the region.

The closest railway station to Dallas Airport is located just to the south of the terminals, and is known as the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. This station is served by the Trinity Railway Express commuter line, and trains from here travel to both downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth. Although the airport station is nearby, passengers will not be able to walk to their train connection. Passengers will first need to travel to the Remote South parking lot by airport shuttle bus, and then on another bus to the railway station. The buses used for the transfer of passengers to and from the terminals are free of charge, and are used for links between the five terminals of the airport as well. However, there is also the Skylink, which is the world’s largest high-speed airport train to date, and provides very quick connections between the terminal buildings. The Skylink airport train recently replaced the older people mover system at Dallas Airport, in 2005, and is capable of providing much faster transfers. The train arrives every two minutes at its terminal stations, and the average journey time is five minutes. It is a free service, and also a bi-directional system.

The Trinity Railway Express is managed by both the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or otherwise known as DART. DART is also the company which provides the bus services at Dallas Airport. The scheduled train services of the Trinity Railway Express, or TRE, are available on weekdays and on Saturdays. There are no train services available on Sundays and on Federally observed holidays. Once passengers arrive at the CentrePort/DFW railway station by airport shuttle, they can travel to the Dallas Union Station in downtown Dallas, or to Fort Worth’s T & P Station. Other Trinity Railway Express Commuter Rail Stations include Victory Station, Medical/Market Centre Station, South Irving Transit Centre, West Irving Station, Hurst/Bell Station, Richland Hills Station and the Intermodal Transportation Centre.

The CentrePort/DFW Airport Station is fully equipped to handle disabled passengers in wheelchairs, and its facilities include free parking for TRE customers, although not overnight, bike lock-ups, platform seating, telephones and ticket vending machines. Areas nearby the doors of the train car sections are generally reserved for elderly passengers, and for those who have mobility challenges. There is also a low-floor centre car which allows easier access for such individuals. Passengers are allowed to bring equipment such as baby strollers, carts and other small items on board the trains, but they should not block the aisles.

Rail fares offered by DART are very reasonable, and tickets are easy to collect from the various types of machines available on the platforms of the stations. A basic one-way fare will cost approximately $1.75, and there are also day pass tickets available, which are slightly more expensive. Many of the tickets can be used on both the DART Rail and DART Bus services as well. Single-ride tickets are valid for 90 minutes after they are purchased and Day Passes are valid on the date of purchase up until 15:00 the following day. Both types of tickets are time/date stamped and ready for use. Cash can be used to pay for the tickets, but at certain stations, a refund slip may be provided instead of change if the right amount is not inserted into the machine. The slip should then be mailed to The T, and a check will be sent to your address for the amount owed. Otherwise, many of the ticket vending machines at the Trinity Express Railway Stations can accept major credit cards.

DART has recently converted many of their LRVs (Light Rail Vehicles) into SLRVs, or Super Light Rail Vehicles. These vehicles are larger, seating approximately 25 more people than the original vehicle, and have a capacity for up to 150 passengers seated and standing. They also feature the train cars with lower floors which enable passengers with disabilities and those with equipment such as baby strollers to more easily enter and exit the train, without the need for mechanical lifts. The existing DART station platforms have been raised by approximately seven inches in order to facilitate level boarding.

In the near future, the airport plans to construct its own railway station on the airport site, between Terminals A and B. The DFW Airport Station is scheduled to open in 2014, and will provide direct connections to Dallas and Las Colinas on the Orange Line. Further rail connections will also be added later. Passengers arriving at or departing from Dallas-Fort Worth can find out more information relating to the railway services nearby on the airport’s website, at http://dfwairport.com, or directly from the Trinity Railway Express website, at http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org.