Facebook Page
January 23, 2009:

January 23, 2009:


            I got up shortly after 8:00. I went to the lobby for breakfast. After breakfast, I headed out. I caught a route 26 bus down to the hospital beside the TRE’s Medical Centre station. Shortly after I got there, I saw a freight led by a GP38 painted and lettered for the New England Central.



            I checked the schedule to see what train was coming next. I boarded a westbound train let by TRE F59PHi #569 and rode to South Irving. At South Irving, I saw a train consisting of three RDCs departing. I was unable to photograph it. I called Julie to see when the Texas Eagle was due and found out it was 36 minutes early.


            I then caught a bus to the Westmoreland LRT station. I boarded a red line train to Union Station hoping to meet Bill. The Texas Eagle was already in the station and I photographed it; noticing that it had a sightseer lounge car.




            I looked around inside and outside the station until I found Bill. I found out that he had missed the train because he misread the schedule at Chicago Union Station and confused the arriving Texas Eagle which was 14 minutes late for the departing train which he didn’t realize his mistake until after he missed the train! It did make me feel a bit better about missing VIA train 56 on my 2008 trip to ride the Adirondack.


            Meanwhile, a TRE train arrived into the station pushed by ex GO Transit F59PH #566. I photographed it and filmed it pulling out again.



            Bill called some friends associated with the missionary in Mexico he works for who told him to meet them at the Downtown Garland terminal on the Blue line. Soon, a blue line train arrived, but it was full. Apparently, a dental convention had just gotten out which is why the train was packed. It emptied out after a few stops.


            We soon arrived at Downtown Garland which is the northern end of the Blue line. I took a photo of the train.



            Bill’s friends showed up after several minutes. They were to take Bill to a bus station to purchase his bus ticket to Mexico. They arrived in a Ford Ranger pickup truck with an extended cab. It reminded me of my friend Fred’s truck in Vancouver. Bill’s friends offered to let me come, but I had to go to meet up with John Landrum and finish my quest. I then got back on the DART train and rode to the Cityplace station.


            Cityplace is the only station on the DART network that is underground. To get to the surface, I had to climb several flights of stairs. I also noticed something unique at Cityplace: An inclined elevator. It is a cross between an elevator and an incline railway. I took a ride on it.


            I was following signs to the M-line streetcar which is the McKinney Avenue line. I had a wait for a streetcar. I wondered which of the MATA’s operational streetcars I would ride. After awhile, car #186, which is an original Dallas streetcar built in 1913 and named “The Green Dragon”. After Dallas abandoned streetcar operation, car 186 was used on a farm to store hay bails until it was acquired and restored to operation. MATA also has two of 186’s sister cars which are awaiting restoration.


I photographed car 186 as it arrived.



            MATA has names for all their operating streetcars. I will cover the others later on. All rides on MATA are free. I rode the car to Bowen and Cole and walked two blocks to the carbarn. I then went inside and met John Landrum. He instructed another MATA volunteer named Anthony to take me to the DART yard. Before we left, I learned of an interesting story about what happened when 4613 and 4614 were shipped from Toronto to Dallas.


            The cars were shipped by rail and had an aggravating time getting them down. The first two flat cars assigned to take the PCCs were not allowed to go into the United States, so they had to get another pair of flat cars.


            Next, the cars didn’t go directly from Toronto to Dallas, and while en route, the cars passed through three different freight railroads and while en route, the railway actually “lost” the PCCs! After several calls, the cars were eventually found and finally made it to Dallas.


            Soon, Anthony and I headed out to the DART rail yard. I told Anthony about my quest to visit all 19 PCCs in the series. Just before the DART yard, I saw a small railway yard with former Santa Fe/Amtrak “El Capitan” coaches. I also learned from Anthony that they also have a former CN/VIA sleeping car. I knew I had to check it out.


            We soon pulled up to the gate. After a few minutes, we were allowed in. We parked and went to the office where we were given orange safety vests with the DART logo on them. While accompanied by a DART employee, we crossed the yard tracks to where former Toronto PCCs 4613 and 4614 were kept. I whipped out my camera and took some photos.







            The cars had been stored outside for over 10 years and the exposure to the elements has taken their toll on the doors of the PCCs. One of the windows on 4613’s rear door had popped out and was lying on the ground. I put the window back inside 4613.


            The DART employee commented the PCCs were much simpler to operate than the DART LRV as there are computers and stuff on the DART cars which make them more complex. He also mistook the location of where drawbars are installed to tow disabled streetcars for couplers, so I explained to him what they were for. I also told him that other classes of Toronto PCCs had couplers for MU operation, but 4613 and 4614 were not two of them.


            My 13 year quest was now over. A few minutes later, Anthony and I returned our vests and we headed back to MATA’s carbarn. Anthony told me of how some railfans travel around the United States to see the 8 remaining Union Pacific “Big Boy” steam locomotives. I also learned from Anthony that DART is transitfan friendly and the employees seem to understand that transit photographers aren’t terrorists. Now if only other transit systems were like DART!


Anthony had to leave to pay his phone bill.  I overheard John on the phone with someone who had been involved in a collision with one of MATA’s streetcars and John told whoever was on the phone that they had blocked the path of the streetcar which was is a traffic violation.


            I hung around the car barn for a few minutes and spoke to Jason, another MATA volunteer; (not my friend Jason back home!) I then photographed the other cars in the carbarn.


            The first car I photographed was a former Tandy City subway car which has been renumbered 143. The car is of PCC origin and was originally a Washington DC PCC until it was acquired by the Tandy subway company and rebuilt twice before the line was shut down. After MATA acquired it, they repainted it and modified it to run at street level. They also named the car “Winnie” because it resembled a Winnebago.



            The next car I photographed was Former Dallas Railway Co. Birney #636 which is named Petunia.



            The next car is Interurban #332 which is nicknamed “The Morning Star”. This car is under restoration and will be used as a dinner car upon completion.



            Car 369 is from Australia and appropriately named “Matilda”. Matilda was built in 1926 and ran in Melbourne until 1985 when it was retired and acquired by MATA.



            Lastly is MATA Speeder “Miss Daisy” which is used for track maintenance. It doesn’t have a number.



            I learned from Jason that the two Toronto PCCs will most likely have to be modified as MATA has some stops where people board from the left hand side of the car so new doors may have to be installed. Right now, the cars can’t run because there’s only a loop at one end of the line.


            After awhile, I went out to catch a streetcar back to Cityplace Station. I rode on MATA’s oldest streetcar which is numbered 122 and named “Rosie”.  Rosie was built in 1909 for use in Porto, Portugal before coming to MATA in 1987. Rosie is hardly used in service, so that was a real treat. After I got to Cityplace, I photographed Rosie and then filmed Rosie pulling away.



            As I headed into Cityplace, I photographed the Inclined Elevator.


This is one of two inclined elevators in Cityplace station.


            I caught a DART train back to Union station and when I got there, I phoned home and told my dad my quest was complete. I then walked over to a nearby Subway for lunch. After lunch, I walked back to Union station where I filmed a two car TRE train arriving being pushed by ex GO F59PH #568. I rode the train to Medical/Market Center where I filmed it leaving.



            I returned to Union station hoping to see a train with RDCs, but none showed up. I decided to try to see Bill off by heading to the area where his bus departed from, but I didn’t see him. I then caught a bus downtown and a LRT train back to Union station where the next train arrived which was a bi-level train. I then rode back to the West End station and caught a route 44 bus back to my hotel. I then went to Whataburger for dinner. I then returned to my hotel and watched some TV before calling it a night.


January 24, 2009:


            I got up and went for breakfast. I noticed the temperature had cooled down significantly. I caught a bus downtown. I got off at McKinney Avenue, but the streetcars weren’t running yet. I ended up catching a bus to the LRT and rode the LRT to Cityplace and then to Union station. At Union station, I waited for the Texas Eagle to arrive. When it arrived, I filmed it pulling it. Like my train, it didn’t have a sightseer lounge. If it did, I would have bought a ticket to Fort Worth. I took a TRE commuter train led by ex GO F59PH 567 to the Fort Worth Transit Center. I saw the TRE yard filled with bi-levels and RDCs. There were two trains running today; both were bi-level trains powered by ex GO F59PH’s.


            Just before the Fort Worth Transit Center, the train actually passed through a building! I got off and photographed my train and filmed it leaving.



            I also photographed some buses at the terminal running for Fort Worth’s transit system.





            I also photographed former Northern Texas Traction Company Interurban #25 which is on display at the station and what I saw on my Arizona trip as well as Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer.




            Meanwhile, Amtrak train 21 backed in. I photographed it.





            I went back inside and bought a ticket on train 22 back to Dallas for $7.00. I took a gamble that the train had a sightseer lounge in the consist. I called Julie to find out the status of train 22. For awhile, it was on time, but ended up arriving 23 minutes late. I filmed the train pulling in and sure enough, it had a sightseer lounge car. This is by far, the cheapest “Make-up trip” I’ve ever taken!




            Soon, it was time to board. I was seated in Superliner 1 coach #34020, a refurbished coach. I took a window seat on the upper level on the right hand side of the train. The train was serviced and then backed out. I filmed the Heartland Flyer as we backed past it. I then went to the sightseer lounge.


            I was under the impression that the downstairs lounge on the Sightseer Lounge wasn’t being used and the Diner-Lounge was the sole food service car on the train kind of like how the dome on the Adirondack was used. However, the lounge was operating and it was more like how the Lakeshore Limited operates with its Diner-lite car.


            I bought lunch on the train and ate it upstairs. We soon were going forwards.


            I also saw another former Northern Texas Traction Company interurban under a tarp in a lot as well as a Flexible fishbowl. I filmed the lot as the train passed. This was the first since I headed west to Arizona that I covered this portion of line as the TRE trains run on a more northerly route and I was bussed from San Antonio to Dallas on my way back home.


            I spent the time going between the sightseer lounge and my coach seat.


            We soon arrived into Dallas. I got off and took a photo of the train.



            I then rode the Dart light rail to the West End station. I caught a Route 26 bus to the Jesse Jackson transit terminal, and then caught a route 409 bus. I was going to see the coaches I saw the day before. Sure enough, I found them. I even saw the VIA car which is numbered 2141. I took some pictures of the equipment in the yard.







            I then walked around to photograph more passenger cars.






            I then boarded a route 409 bus to Cityplace and then waiting for a MATA streetcar. Car 369 showed up. I photographed it before I got on.



            The sun went down while I rode the car. We passed car 636 at one point.



            I rode car 369 to the extreme end of the MATA line and took two photos of it.




            I got back on Matilda and rode to a block past the carbarn where everyone transferred to 186.



I rode 186 to a few blocks before I got off to look in a bookstore and have dinner in a Mexican grill. After dinner, I just missed 636, so I walked back to Cityplace. I then caught a train to West End station and a bus back to my hotel where I watched America’s Most Wanted before calling it a night.


Click here for the last part of my trip:           Dallas trip part 3