Abandoned Rails of Dallas

Picture Point of Interest

Map submitted by Greg Harrison, Lee M.

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

Dallas Market Hall: We begin by observing where the spur first branched from the CRI&P mainline, on the rise to the right. Today, this track is owned by Dallas and Fort Worth, and hosts the cities' Trinity Railway Express commuter train. A signal with restrictive aspect is seen along the right-of-way just to the left of the trees behind the tracks. Photo by Greg Harrison.

Dallas Market Hall: Opened in 1960, Dallas Market Hall is located northwest of Dallas, Texas, just off of the Stemmons Freeway (IH 35E). When it expanded in 1963, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific built a half-mile spur from its mainline (just to the north) to the Market Hall complex for loading/unloading warehouse goods for trade shows and exhibitions. The track was used infrequently, and saw abandonment in the late 1970s. However, no effort was made to remove the abandoned tracks before the entire area was claimed by a parking garage and other parking lots, thus the trackage is still evident today.

White Rock Lake Spur: This short spur, at 1.2 miles in length, allowed the MKT to access the Dallas Waterworks pump house located adjacent to White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: 27595 Date: 3/8/1974 Section: 5(2)
App. for auth. of each to acquire an undivided One-Eighth interest in 2.09 mi. of railroad in Dallas, Texas to be abandoned by The Union Terminal Co., and for approval of an agreement among them, permitting their continued operation over such line and all other lines over which The Union Terminal Company had Operating Rights.
Length: 2.09 miles Citation:  
Docket Number: 27595 Date: 3/8/1974 Section: 5(2)
(See applic. of THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY and seven others for auth. to each to acquire one-eighth interest in 2.09 mi. of rr. in Dallas, Tex. to be abandoned by The Union Terminal Co., and for approval of an agreement among them permitting their continued operation over such line, etc., and all other lines over which The Union Terminal Co. had Operating Rights, under same docket number).
Length: Unknown Citation:  

Wasn't there a scrap yard for salvage at this site before it was redeveloped? I seem to recall some of the early maps for the Industrial Properties Corporation that showed that spur and I could have sworn it predates the Market Center. I did some survey work on that property back in late 1990s. Unfortunately I do not have access to those survey records anymore.

Fort Worth, TX

[Hey Andy, thanks for the information! I could not find any further history than what I have here.  —Greg Harrison]


With so many remnants of these spurs easily visible including the rails themselves, this looks like it was a very enjoyable trip to track and document. Thanks for the great photos!

I am curious as to why seven different railroad companies, upon the abandonment of a spur, would want to co-own the spur and seek to keep it in service as seems to be indicated by the ICC filings above. If other railroad companies had expressed their interest in this piece, wouldn't it have been offered for sale or transfer instead of being abandoned first?

Kevin M. Smith
Cicero, NY


I worked the agency at Harrys, just west of Browder Yard on the west side of the river at Dallas. There was an ATSF "industry spur" that had access to the west Dallas industries that had been a court case between the T&P/ATSF that went all the way to the supreme court which ruled in the ATSF favor.

I also worked at T&P Jct in East Dallas. East Dallas yard was on the old main so any train that went all the way to the yard had to back out to go around the "belt".

Terry Taylor
Dallas, TX


Interesting - there used to be remnants like this near where I live. It must be a lot quicker for the construction crews to leave the rails in place and just build around them.

Mike Palmer
Torrance, CA


Probably the best pictures of an abandonment gone bad...garage? ...Really?

Albuquerque, NM


I was a truck driver for T&P Motor Transport had to go to KG junction pick up train waybills from the operator take to East Dallas Yard Office then take the intermodal bills back to the Freight House and piggy back ramp.

Jesse Junkin
Garland, TX


The Bus Stop Booth built across the rails was a touching display of changing modes of transportation.

Ron Selliers
Carthage, TN


I worked at Empire Terminal Warehouse one summer in the early 1970s unloading tractor trailers and the occasional boxcar. It was located just east of the Dallas Morning News building. A Rock Island switcher would deliver the boxcars.

Dennis Hogan
Frisco, TX


There are Fairchild aerial survey photos online from the late 1920s that show White Rock Lake. You can trace the Katy Pump Station Spur which was still intact.

Dennis Hogan
Frisco, TX


I can remember as a boy riding with my mother going up Oak Lawn (now Market Center). At the Southwest corner of Oak Lawn and the RR tracks pairelling Harry Hines, there was a scrap yard that scrapped several steam locos. I remember seeing them lined up on the spur in the yard. Wish I had pictures now

Wilson Fryar
Celeste, TX


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