The partial government shutdown is delaying the long-awaited launch of TEXRail train service
“We’re disappointed the start date for TEXRail’s passenger service is being delayed," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "We will remain in close communication with Trinity Metro as they coordinate full clearance for service with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and announce a new start date.”
Service between downtown Fort Worth and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was to begin Saturday -- now it's unclear when passengers can use the line.
The problem? A key inspection is still needed by the FRA before the full service can launch. Furloughs have resulted in skeleton crews for the FRA, which has led to some strains in completing inspections before deadline.
Officials with Trinity Metro said Friday afternoon they were unable to get clearance for the entire 27-mile corridor and that they will launch passenger service as soon as they obtain full clearance from the FRA to operate the entire railroad.
The section of track still needing an inspection is under Spur 280 in Fort Worth, east of the Intermodal Transportation Center, where two freight railroad lines were relocated, supports were moved and two new bridges were built.
"We got it done. Every inch of track is open. We’ve just got to get it inspected," said Paul Ballard, CEO and president of Trinity Metro.
It's not clear when the FRA will be able to inspect the final section.
NBC 5's Larry Collins contributed to this report.