Friday, March 27, 2015

Allen TX Texas Electric Railway Depot

Last weekend I was in Allen. I decided to stop and have a look at the old Texas Electric Railway Depot which is still standing and in fine shape.




The First New Dallas Streetcar is Here.

Last Friday the first of 4 new Dallas streetcars was delivered to Dallas Area Rapid Transit. This car number 302 is the first one of it's kind delivered by the car builder Brookville Equipment Company. The car will be able to travel on track without over head wire using battery power. This is because the Houston street viaduct from down town Dallas to Oak Cliff which the new streetcar line travels over will not have overhead  wire (OCS) due to the historic nature of the bridge. The car has been introduced to the public and journalists and has been featured in several articles this week. We look forward to the success and great utilization of this new streetcar line in the future.




And here is a link to the Brookville Equipment Company website article on the new streetcars.http://www.brookvillecorp.com/Brookville-Delivers-Dallas-Streetcar.asp?news=News-Corporate.asp


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Save The Turtle-Back Streetcars Campaign

The North Texas Historic Transportation organization would like to preserve for future generations three Dallas streetcars in danger of being scrapped.  These cars were owned by the Mckinney Avenue Transit Authority. These cars were built to a common Stone & Webster company design known as the turtleback due to the shape of the car roof. MATA had planned to eventually restore these bodies back to working condition.  But over the years they just continued to sit in storage.  Now McKinney Ave. is short on shop space.  They would like to build a new car repair and restoration shop on the land where these car bodies are stored.  Thus the car bodies have been offered to
and accepted by the North Texas Historic Transportation / Texas Traction Company.  This is a group of historically minded electric railway preservationistsfrom the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area.  NTHT /TTCo Currently has several different streetcar bodies and artifacts in storage.  The long term goal of the group is to establish a streetcar and interurban museum in DFW.

https://www.facebook.com/savetheturtlebacks/info
http://www.northtexastransport.org/

Please support this cause financially: http://www.gofundme.com/d53si4

Here is a report by one of our members, Tyler Adams, on the current condition of the three turtlebacks.

"189 is the car personally I consider in the best shape. Being inside a house since retirement until the early 90s, and then being kept in a Warehouse until the early 2000s, even the wood on this car is in mostly good shape. The structural steel appears to be in excellent shape, and only show minor signs of rust from the recent years outside. The wood floor in certain areas are showing signs of wear, but still hold an over 200 pounds person jumping up and down on them. Even the roof on this car, although needing new canvas, can still hold an over 200 pounds man jumping on them with ease. The sheet metal on the ends would need replacing, as would much of the wood on the corners and doors. But overall, the car is surprisingly intact.

183 is the one that is the most weathered. Being on the outside wall of house mentioned previously, it did not get the same treatment as 189. Much of the wood on this car, is badly worn if not gone. The floor has collapsed in many areas, and the steel on this car has a bit more rust on it, and note if memory serves me correctly, it is even missing an "elbow", which is the piece that extends from the main frame to help support the platform areas. Roof is also worse, as what is left is decent and close to the condition of 189, but there is at least a third of the roof missing, and those areas below are the worst of being worn out.

323 is the one who has been at this lot before the sounds of streetcars returned to Dallas, and was originally intended to be restored before 186 was discovered to be available. For all her years out there however she seems to have fared well, as the roof is still intact, floor is still good, even the platforms are good. The window areas however are where it is bad, to the point where windows were starting to fall out of place on to the ground, and the sills around them looked to be next. The steel frame on this car may be called into question however, as for an unknown amount of time the car has been a bit corkscrewed, as on one end, and old tie that the car was sitting on for support rotted out years ago, and that end has been on the ground ever since."


Here is a photo of this type of car.  This is #186 of the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority in Dallas.




The following photos were taken in the spring of 2013 when we were putting tarps on the cars.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Former Dallas Railway & Terminal PCC



Here is the former Dallas PCC owned by McKinney Avenue Transit Authority in Dallas TX.  This car was sold to the transit company in Boston MA. after the closing of the streetcar lines in Dallas.  That is the color scheme that the car is currently painted in.  It is currently stored at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union IL.



Now it is under restoration at the McKinney Avenue Transit car barn in Dallas TX. 2-19-17 update.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dallas Railway & Terminal Birney 661

Last year while searching for a house I came across the body of an old streetcar.  My wife and I were being shown this house and I happened to look out one of the windows and noticed this old streetcar body laying in the yard of the house next door.  It looked as if it had been used as a storage shed or something like that.  The windows were covered up with tin but the contours and outline of the body were obvious to me as those of a Birney single truck safety car.  Being a streetcar fan and model builder of the same I know what a Birney is and looks like.  I was very excited.  We did not end up buying that house as It was not what we were looking for but the streetcar weighed heavy on my mind. All last year I thought about it and wished that it could be preserved.  But I was very busy with repairs to the new house that we bought and also getting established in a new job so I did not have much time left over.  But I contacted a few of the other local DFW area traction fans and showed some photos of the car.  Author and streetcar/interurban historian Johnnie J. Meyers went over to Seagoville and checked out the car and talked to the owner.  He was able to inspect the car and found that it was in fact car number 661.  This was the last of a series of Birney single truckers that Dallas Railway Company later (DR&T) bought from the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia PA in 1920.      This car originally was equipped with the Brill type 79E1 truck.  This was the last car of a 50 car order.

I am now a member of the Texas Traction Company.  This is a electric traction historical preservation organization focusing on the preservation of electric traction history in north Texas. Our organization has been offered this car 661 to be preserved.  Hopefully it will be and future generations of north Texans will be able to learn about and enjoy this transportation artifact.





Friday, February 15, 2013

MATA Clean Up Day

Last Saturday I took part in the clean up day at the Mckinney Avenue Transit Authority trolley barn.  I enjoyed working around these old street cars.  And especially enjoyed seeing the progress on Former Dallas Railway and Terminal car 754.  This car was originally built as a Peter Witt type car with center door on the right side.  Later in the 1930s it was rebuilt and the center door was removed when the cars of this type were converted to one man operation.  This car is being rebuilt with all sorts of modern control technology.  It was nothing but a body when MATA got the car as all the running gear had been scrapped.   So they are outfitting it with modern running gear that is much easier to come by today.  It has Australian trucks but they have been outfitted with 440v AC motors and Resilient Bochum wheels similar to what A PCC car has.  Actually the SLRV cars that Dallas Area Rapid Transit operates have similar wheels with different tread profile.  Here are a few cell phone pics.


Car 754.  Car is currently being wired up.







This is Daisy the MATA Fairmont speeder inspection car.


Bicycle Ride Along the Texas Electric Waco Line

Two weekends ago I was able to take a bicycle ride from Hillsboro Texas to Waxahachie Texas.  My intent was to ride up US highway 77 which for the most part follows along the old Texas Electric interurban Waco line right of way.  I was intending to ride all the way up to Red Oak where I live.  But due to being out of shape I had to call my wife for a pick up at Waxahachie.  My wife and I decided to take the family down to Hillsboro for a picnic.  And the plan was for me to ride home from there on my bicycle.  I knew that I would be following along the Texas Electric and planed to see as much of what ever was left as I could.  I had not been down that way before having recently moved to Texas.  But I was surprised at how much of the right of way and other relics such as bridge abutments were still evident 64 years after the line was abandoned.  Part of the reason so much still exists is that one of the power companies still uses the ROW for power transmission lines.  In fact quite a few of the original high tension towers still appeared to be in use south of Italy TX.

Right of way south of Milford Texas looking south.

 Looking north towards Milford.


 Bridge abutments just north of Milford Texas over Mill Creek.


 Concrete culvert is on Texas Electric right of way just south of Italy Texas.  Wood trestle in the backround is the abandoned MKT railroad line between Waxahachie and Hillsboro.


Intact bridge over Hog Creek just south of Italy near the Monolithic dome home apartment complex at Center Point.