Fort Worth city leaders are putting some weight behind the push for more passenger rail transportation in Tarrant County and other parts of North Texas.The City Council has formed a 14-member Passenger Rail Working Group that Mayor Betsy Price said will have "a laser focus" on completing projects like the 37-mile TEX Rail commuter line connecting southwest Fort Worth, the central city, Grapevine and the north entrance to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.Planners envision a network of commuter rail eventually emanating from downtown along all points of the compass, as well as high-speed rail or similar service between Dallas-Fort Worth and other parts of the state."For us to continue to have the growth that this city needs and that the region needs, we really have to move these projects forward," Price said. She also complimented Dick Ruddell, president and executive director of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, the T, for its recent work on TEX Rail."I believe y'all have got a good handle on it going forward," Price said.It's good to see the council rolling up its sleeves to join the work. Price's comments were in sharp contrast to what she said four months ago when she scolded the T's board of directors for not moving fast enough on solutions to what she called a "mobility crisis" in North Texas.The new committee will be chaired by Councilman Jungus Jordan, a strong transportation advocate and longtime member of the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Price and City Council members Joel Burns and Danny Scarth will also be members. Much of the TEX Rail line will run through Burns' District 9 and Scarth's District 4.Four T board members were picked to join them: Chairman Gary Cumbie, Vice Chairwoman Rosa Navejar, Secretary Gary Havener and Steve Berry.Others named as members are Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce President Bill Thornton, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce President Devoyd Jennings, a representative of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, attorney Dee Kelly Jr. and council of governments Transportation Director Michael Morris.None of these folks are shy about expressing opinions, and none have a record of shunning hard work. In fact, if there are any problems as the committee goes about its business, it's more likely to come from the difficulty of pointing so many strong leaders all in the same direction.But the potential is great. The heavyweight group can add momentum to the T's work, help smooth the way politically for rail projects and steer efforts toward projects that are most needed and most feasible.Ruddell's report to the council included news about significant progress on TEX Rail, which is planned to begin service in 2016. The T has come to a handshake agreement to purchase right of way from Union Pacific for a key segment of the line on the eastern side of downtown.The T also has an agreement with Dallas Area Rapid Transit to use push-pull locomotives on the TEX Rail line similar to those used today on the Trinity Railway Express between the downtown areas of Fort Worth and Dallas. DART owns the Cotton Belt tracks between Fort Worth and Grapevine and on to Plano. Previously, DART had insisted on sleek, modern -- and more expensive -- self-propelled cars. The Regional Transportation Council has agreed to buy those modern cars for regional commuter rail lines in the future. RTC can use federal transportation dollars for that purpose, but only if the cars are made in the United States. Currently, they are made in Europe.