Welcome Our New Museum Volunteer!

Chris Moore A new addition to the museum’s volunteer roster is Chris Moore. Although now living in Frisco, he moved to Plano in 1989 from his native England with his young family. He came to work for ARCO International Oil & Gas Company at its Plano headquarters for a couple of years as an expatriate, … Continue reading Welcome Our New Museum Volunteer!

Death on the Rail -Excerpt from the book “Hidden History of Plano”

Life changed dramatically for Plano when the railroad arrived in 1872. The railway brought more commerce to Plano—but it also brought crime and mayhem.      In those years, cotton was king. The trains linked Plano with McKinney and Dallas, turning Plano’s downtown into the prosperous center of a booming farm economy. Thanks to the development … Continue reading Death on the Rail -Excerpt from the book “Hidden History of Plano”

Major League Baseball, Spring Training and the Interurban

Any baseball fan knows the meaning of the "Grapefruit League" and the "Cactus League". Florida's Grapefruit League and Arizona's Cactus League are the two locations for Major League baseball's spring training camps. There was a time when North Texas hosted many Major League teams because of the railroad. There were multiple steam and Interurban rail … Continue reading Major League Baseball, Spring Training and the Interurban

Down the Line: Clarendon Trestle

As of 2021, the partially demolished remnants of the old interurban bridge over East Clarendon Drive are over a century old. 108 years old, to be exact. The structure is known by various names: The Clarendon Trestle, the Trinity Heights Line Viaduct, and the Oak Cliff Viaduct. In this blog, we'll discuss the bridge's construction in 1913, its partial demolition in 2014, as well as its legacy as the first major civics structure in Dallas built entirely by African Americans, and a monument to a bygone era of electrical transportation.

Then and Now: Richardson Station and Freight Depot

“Railroad Fever” came to North Texas a second time in the early 1900’s…and a then small rural town named Richardson quickly came under its influence [1].   The first incident of ‘railroad fever’ occurred when rail service arrived in 1873, in the form of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad (H&TC).  That route bypassed the nearby … Continue reading Then and Now: Richardson Station and Freight Depot

History of Car 360 (1949-2020)

In August 2020, we wrote about the history of the train car that sits outside the Interurban Railway Museum; from its building through its long career in the Texas Electric Railway until the company closed in 1948. In this blog, we'll finish up the story by telling you about how Texas Electric Railway Car 360 went from an auction to a backyard in Waxahachie, before ending up at the Interurban Railway Museum.

Holidays on the Interurban

Santa Claus, Fred Gildersleeve, and Waco's Alessandro's Band walk into a bar—I mean, a Sanger Brothers Department Store. Okay? Just hear me out. I swear this isn't a bad joke. It actually happened! In the spirit of the holiday season, we thought we'd dive into our archives and reveal a few timely photos of interurbans from the Southern Traction Company and the Texas Electric Railway—two featuring Old Kris Kringle. Keep reading to learn about the time Santa Claus left his reindeer behind and traveled to Waco on a railcar in 1913, and a snowy Christmas Eve in Dallas in 1948!

The Shorts: At Journey’s End

There’s an old turn of phrase, ’the long and the short of it’, which in more current lingo, means there’s a long version and a short version. We’re going to incorporate part of that phrase in the title of some of our blogs going forward. “The Shorts” will identify blogs shorter in length, that include … Continue reading The Shorts: At Journey’s End

Plano Substation, Part II: The Restoration

After the Texas Electric Railway ceased passenger operations on December 31, 1948, officials began removing tracks and selling off the right-of-ways. The interurban station in Plano, once an integral facet of the city throughout the early to mid-1900s, through World Wars and Depressions, no longer served as a transportation hub to Dallas or Denison for its citizens. Instead, the building, once buzzing with life and activity, was passed on from owner to owner, sometimes sitting entirely empty and other times being repurposed for small business ventures. 73 years after its abandonment by the Texas Electric Railway, the City of Plano restored the building, giving it a new life as another form of community center—a museum.

5 Scary Archival Discoveries

As Halloween aproaches and everyone's thoughts turn to ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, we at the Interurban Railway Museum look at it in a different way. We don't have any creepy haunted dolls or ancient cursed tomes, but we have come across some pretty frightening artifacts. Keep reading to see five spooky discoveries that sent chills down our archivists' spines!