The TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS: putting the needs of railway passengers FIRST!

At all times, the Texas Association of Railroad Passengers attempts to respect its name and its calling by respecting YOU, the much neglected and oft' forgotten, yet faithfully dedicated, train traveler!

TEX-ARP primarily exists as an advocacy group designed to support those currently using all forms of railroad transport, from local streetcar services to the great transcontinental limiteds.  Our hearts are also inexorably knit with like-minded friends whose sincerest desire is to regain passenger train service as a reasonable option for their own town and region.  Ideally (and most often), this means TEX-ARP's goals and the goals of other railway advocacy organisations,railroad companies, passenger train operators and government agencies complement each other quite well.

In fact, those of us in leadership positions at TEX-ARP wish to maintain the closest possible ties to all other individuals who profess a love for the railway industry.  Unity is vital, especially when one's numbers are small and one's greatest desires trivialized.  A wonderful example of this camaraderie is found in ourongoing relationship with Texas Rail Advocates.  

Still, we know there will also be times when things proposed by others might, if brought to fruition, undermine our ability to use rail-based modes for travel. Even those with good intentions can inadvertently create hardships for railroad passengers and other customers.

At such times, TEX-ARP regrettably but firmly stands with the faithful few - alone, if necessary - by continuing to emphasize timeless standards, such as the three 'C's of comfort, convenience and connectivity.  We pledge this will never change.

An example of a project which looks good on the surface and which has drawn almost unanimous accolades from other advocacy groups is Texas Central Partners' proposed high-speed passenger railway between Houston and Dallas.  Though TEX-ARP fully understands the great benefits possible through the design, construction and operation of this H.S.R. line, TEX-ARP currently remains alone in its refusal to support this initiative without qualification.

One of the primary reasons we have not embraced this project as it now exists is because it violates, in various ways, all three of the 'C's noted above!

On board comfort will be compromised due to the lack of specialty equipment so appreciated by train travelers (for example, artist renderings now available fail to show any dining or lounge areas within the trains' consists).  Convenience will suffer due to the absence of all but one of the several potential intermediate stations (only Brazos Valley, serving College Station and Huntsville, is currently indicated as a passenger stop).  Connectivity will be practically nonexistent due to the high-speed train's failure to reach both downtown Dallas AND downtown Houston (and, in the process, eliminating ALL direct transfers to ALL forms of existing rail-based modes of transport)!

The very idea of opposing Texas Central Partners' project is anathema to us; however, we also cannot in good conscience cast our lot with the identified developers.  If those in positions of authority continue to ignore time-honored principles, TEX-ARP will continue to warn our members of the inherent shortcomings with this plan.

Proposed service improvements and route additions which TEX-ARP fully embraces include:

  • Daily operation of Amtrak's famed Sunset Limited and the reopening of Phoenix, Arizona's Union Station 

  • Capital investment along the existing route of Amtrak's Texas Eagle, allowing a reduction in running time and addition of frequencies

  • The extension of Amtrak's Heartland Flyer north from Oklahoma City to Newton, Kansas

  • Restoration and rededication of Dallas' Union Terminal facility as that city's primary railway station 

  • El Paso's soon to be inaugurated streetcar service, operated by Sun Metro   

  • The successful completion of Fort Worth Transit Authority's TEXRail project, bringing Grapevine back into the National Network

  • Restored service along the original Fort Worth & Denver (BNSF) main through Wichita Falls

  • A long-discussed train (Crescent Star, nee King Cotton) between Fort Worth and Atlanta, Georgia

  • Adding the Caprock Xpress (or a similar service) via Lubbock to the Texas railway passenger map

  • An "auto train" style operation between north central Texas and southeastern Colorado

  • Bringing regularly scheduled passenger service back to Galveston Island