USA: Construction could get underway in April on the Denton County Transportation Authority’s A-Train commuter rail project now that a $250m grant has been received from the Texas Department of Transportation.

The 33·8 km, five-station line will connect Denton to Carrollton, a transfer point to Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s future Green Line. State funding will be generated by highway tolls and provide 80% of the capital cost; local sales tax revenue will provide the remaining 20%.

A design, build, operate and maintain contract has been awarded to the Herzog Transportation Services and Walsh Construction joint venture, with completion tentatively scheduled for December 2010. Final negotiations for 12 DMUs are underway with an un-named supplier and with the Federal Railroad Administration, to ensure there will be no conflicts with FRA standards.

Since the new vehicles will not be delivered in time for the line’s opening, DCTA will lease 10 Budd Rail Diesel Cars from Trinity Railway Express and perform a minor cosmetic upgrade. The RDCs, manufactured in the 1950s and refurbished in 1996, will be returned to TRE once the DMUs are in service, about two years after they are ordered.