The real news from the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, the T, on Tuesday was not the $106.7 million order its officials signed with a Swiss company to provide advanced rail cars for the TEX Rail line, although that was a big deal.
The top news wasn’t that Stadler Bussnang AG, the maker of the cars, might open a manufacturing facility to build them in Lewisville. That’s a big deal, too, and it could provide 80 to 100 new jobs.
The biggest thing from the T’s Tuesday event featuring the Stadler contract was that the TEX Rail project is about to reach the tipping point that will ensure federal funding for roughly half of its nearly $1 billion cost.
TEX Rail will connect downtown Fort Worth with the northernmost terminals at DFW Airport. The T is now expected to get its funding early next year.
Reconstruction of the line’s 27 miles of track also is expected to start next year. Passenger service is set to begin by the end of 2018.