Fort Worth, Texas-based The T’s board approved a change to its New Starts TEX Rail submittal that will call for diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicles instead of locomotive hauled coaches (LHC).
The T had previously planned to start with TRE vehicles due to their significantly lower purchase price and less lead time to procure to meet its 2016 schedule, with a long-range plan to move to DMUs in the future.
“Several factors have occurred recently that have led to The T’s change to start TEX Rail with DMU vehicles," said Dick Ruddell, president of The T.
The major benefits that were important considerations for The T in changing to DMUs for TEX Rail include:
- Lower operating costs with the DMU.
- Partial funding from TXDOT and the Regional Transportation Council is available for the DMU.
- The DMU will be better received by the neighborhoods along the corridor due to its lower profile.
The most significant factor is that The T’s most recent cost analysis shows the additional costs for the DMU vehicles will be more than offset by lower operating costs.
The capital cost for the DMUs for TEX Rail is estimated at $88 million for eight train sets, which is approximately $25 million more than the TRE type LHC. The DMU operating expense is projected to be approximately $4 million per year less than those expenses for the LHC vehicle. The fiscal year 2035 financial plan will be updated to document the net financial impact. The additional funding from TXDOT and RTC is estimated to be at least $55 million.