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.

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

Update 2:  This car body has now been sold for scrap by the McKinney Ave. Transit Co. It was deemed to be to expensive to restore due to heavy rust on the underframe and body. The trucks will be rebuilt and used under the body of an Ex-Toronto PCC. 7-7-2017 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.

A Visit To The Plano Texas Electric Interurban Museum

Recently my dad and I visited the Plano interurban museum.  This is a nice museum that showcases the Texas Electric interurban as it relates to the town of Plano Texas.  The museum is housed in the original Plano interurban depot and electrical substation.  Inside the museum there are numerous exhibits showing the electric interuban history of Plano and the surrounding area.  Also there are exhibits explaining the electrical technology used in the electric interurbans and street railways.  Dad and I enjoyed a nice January afternoon taking in the exhibits.  Outside the building and situated on the original right of way of the Texas Electric is Interurban Railway Post Office car number 360.  One of the museum docents showed us around the museum and also inside the Interurban RPO car.  If you are interested in Texas electric railway history or just rail history in general I would highly recommend a visit  to this museum.

O scale Trolley layout at Worlds Greatest Hobby Show in Fort Worth TX.

Several weeks ago I attended the Worlds Greatest Hobby show.  At the show there was an interesting O scale trolley layout on display in the Carstens Publications booth.  Carstens publishes Railroad Model Craftsman magazine as well as the magazine Railfan and Railroad.  Also they publish numerous railroad books.  Here are a few photos of the layout.