Fort Worth TEXRail car part of Golden Spike ceremony
Later this year, Fort Worth residents who travel on the TEXRail commuter train may notice that one of the sets of rail cars has the name “Spike” emblazened on its front.
Why does TEXRail have a car named Spike?
Because that car, which is scheduled to be delivered to Fort Worth in June, took part in a ceremony this week commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony in Promontory, Utah.
On May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad line was completed in the area just north of Salt Lake City, opening the country to a much more efficient means of westward expansion.
So what’s the Fort Worth connection?
Trinity Metro, the transit agency that operates TEXRail, buys its rail cars from Stadler Rail, a Swiss company that recently completed construction of its U.S. manufacturing center in Salt Lake City.
Stadler wanted to take part in the variety of public events commemorating the Golden Spike anniversary this week. So, the company lined up two of its newly completed sets of cars — one for TEXRail, the other for a California rail service known as Caltrain — nose-to-nose and took some photographs.
Trinity Metro officials took the opportunity to brand that specific TEXRail car Spike.
“This big production facility Stadler built in Salt Lake City ... is a really big deal to us,” said Bob Baulsir, Trinity Metro president. “Stadler asked us if they could use our eighth diesel multiple unit complete train set as one the trains that would be on display at the Golden Spike site. We are excited to be part of it.”
Baulsir added that the initial plan was to hold Stadler’s event at the actual site of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah, but there is no longer an active rail line to get there. So instead, the commemoration was held at Stadler’s brand new production facility in Salt Lake City, about 92 miles to the south.
Stadler held an open house Thursday and Friday in Salt Lake City to show off its factory, which now builds rail cars for many cities in North America.
TEXRail was Stadler’s first customer in the U.S.