Case Study

TEXRail Station at DFW International Airport Terminal B New TEXRail Line Provides Critical North Texas Transportation Link

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, USA

The Challenge

TEXRail is a new 27-mile commuter rail line linking downtown Fort Worth to DFW International Airport’s Terminal B. As on-call architect for DFW Airport, HKS was awarded the contract in 2015 to provide design and construction of the TEXRail Station at Terminal B, and the passenger walkway leading to Terminal B. In addition to its location within a busy hub airport and a firm opening date of January 2019, the project team faced other challenges, including existing utility obstructions, a natural gas line that needed relocating and the presence of asbestos uncovered by demolition of the remaining Airtrans guideway and associated facilities. Dealing with the utility obstructions and devising a plan to ensure proper removal and disposal of the asbestos could have caused significant delays in the project schedule.

The Design Solution

As the originating/destination point for thousands of passengers each day, designers looked to create a space that would be consistent with the nearby DART station built in 2012. They also wanted to provide an efficient, pleasing customer experience as passengers transitioned from the TEXRail Station to the terminal. The design of the station incorporates elements of the DART terminal, including clean, open spaces, with a well-designed signage and orientation system and dramatic curving canopies over the station. Showcasing DFW Airport as a global transportation hub, HKS architects created a mural along the pedestrian walkway depicting graphic representations of major international cities.

HKS leveraged its experience as on-call architect for the airport, working closely with the client, project contractor and numerous airport stakeholders to help keep the project on schedule. An airport is like a small city, with a network of departments that keep it operating smoothly. HKS used its knowledge of the stakeholders and their protocols to translate their requirements into the overall planning. Through weekly alignment meetings and close coordination with the airport project team, HKS helped maintain the construction schedule with no disruption to critical airport operations — despite severe weather, road closures and temporary rerouting of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The Design Impact

The new TEXRail service is critical to the continued growth and vibrancy of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, bringing new economic development opportunities along the 27-mile line. TEXRail is the first public transportation option to directly connect DFW Airport to downtown Fort Worth. In addition to providing direct access to Fort Worth, one of the fastest growing cities in the country, it offers a convenient, affordable transportation option for airport employees and people who work along the route. Daily ridership is expected to grow from 8,000 at the end of the first year of operation, to 14,000 by 2035.

Project Features

  • 16,500 square feet (1532 square meters)
  • 8,000 daily riders by end of first year (14,000 by 2035)
  • Nine stations along the 27-mile route
  • Passenger platform, walkway with crewroom and DFW ITS communications closet
  • Walkway connects TEXRail to existing DART station adjacent to Terminal B


  • 2019 ENR Texas and Louisiana Best Projects Award of Merit
  • 2018 DFW Airport DCC (Design Code and Construction) Project of the Year award