Support Services for A-train Commuter Rail Implementation – Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA)

Denton, Texas

The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) retained the LAN led On Track joint venture to provide professional support services for implementation of several bus and rail projects throughout the DCTA service area. The major project during the performance period of this contract is the A-train Commuter Rail Project. LAN provided a variety of planning, procurement, design, and construction management services. The commuter rail project is along the old Denton Branch, formerly UPRR and is a shared corridor with Dallas, Garland and Northeastern Railroad (DGNO) for approximately 10 of the 21 mile corridor. The Authority selected a Construction Manager General Contract (CMGC) delivery method and LAN served the Authority overseeing the construction work.

The CMGC submitted at Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) based on 85% design drawings, however when final issue for construction drawings were submitted to the Authority by the design team, several significant changes had occurred. The LAN team quickly coordinated a value engineering team to review the designs for the Authority, and then prepared revisions that have realized an estimated $28M in capital cost, bringing the cost back within the Authorities budget.

The LAN team also designed and provided construction oversight on DCTA rail vehicle maintenance facility. The 56,000 SF maintenance facility includes offices, dispatch, fueling, vehicle wash, turntable, inspections pits, and storage track. The facility was designed to be expandable to 76,000 SF, as needed.

At a glance

Through value engineering, LAN has reduced approximately $30 million from the $300 million A-train commuter rail project

By providing a safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly transportation solution to Denton County residents, the A-train project has helped pull cars off the road and alleviate the congestion on the I-35E corridor

The 21-mile A-train, which runs parallel to the I-35 E corridor along the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad’s (DGNO) right-of-way, carries passengers from downtown Denton to Carrollton

To provide service as early as possible to the community, the DCTA leased a fleet of Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDC) used previously by the Trinity Railway Express to begin the A-train operation

With freight locomotives also running on the same rail corridor, operating the Stadler GTW in a shared environment without a temporal separation required an alternative compliance waiver from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Part of the DGNO rail corridor crosses a 175-foot long truss bridge that was built in 1910 over the Trinity River near Lewisville, Texas


The A-train is the first project in the United States that uses a light-rail type vehicle to function in a shared environment with freight locomotives without a temporal separation

The use of the Stadler GTW fleet has improved the vehicle fuel efficiency by 67 percent

The project included providing planning, procurement, design and construction management services for more than 20 different work orders


Construction Mgmt & Inspection


Land & Site Devel

Structural Engineering

Transportation Services


Denton County Transportation Authority

Related Work

Construction Management

Structural Engineering

Land and Site Development

Transportation Services

Rail and Transit