Plano to McKinney
This railway line was originally part of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad's mainline between Dallas and Denison, constructed in the 1870s. The H&TC was later acquired by the Southern Pacific Railroad as part of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad (a subsidiary of the SP); T&NO was officially merged into the SP in 1961.
Today, a majority of the line is owned by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, who operates their Red Line service along the right-of-way between Dallas and the Parker Road Station in Plano. The Dallas, Garland and Northeastern Railroad, a regional short-line, operates the line between McKinney and Denison to the north. This leaves a stretch of railroad between them, between Plano and McKinney, which is plotted above.
Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information.
Saw my last local working the spurs in Allen, TX in the late 90's. I remember Cotton Belt trains running all the way to Miller yard until the tracks were abandoned south of Allen.
The spur line in photo #5 served the old Wells Brothers farm store and 84 Lumber which were located (at the time) along Texas 5 south of Spring Creek Parkway.
There are some brick H&TC culverts in Allen and a classic stone-faced bridge in Fairview. The latter has national historical recognition now.
Allen, of course, has the Stone Dam built by the H&TC as a water reservoir.
The site of the Sam Bass train robbery might have been the water stop near the dam instead of the community of Allen such as it was in the late 1870s.
From looking at the map, it looks like there may still be a pair of abandoned crossing signals on Country Club Road in Fairview Texas.
Dennis, a sign in Allen says the train robbery was at McDermott Dr. Allen.
The evidence I have seen leaves some serious doubt about the location of the Allen train robbery. That evidence includes newspaper accounts from the era and some railroad mileage information. Some in the Allen Heritage Guild agree that the actual site is not nailed down yet.
Historical markers are often incorrect. Time will tell about the veracity of the claim.
Since DART owns the line between Plano and Mckinney why dont they just use the line so that dart trains can go to Mckinney ?
There is a line nearby I have a question about. There is a line that runs from around Synergy Parkway to Addison that was Cotton Belt but was abandoned between those two points. The line from Addison west is operated by the FWWR, but I think was operated by DGNO at one point. Why was that section abandoned, and the operator changed? It seemed like DGNO may have had rights on KCS at one point? I have family in that area and was there a couple of weeks ago, so that's why I find that area of interest.
Nicholas, you're correct that DART owns the right-of-way between Parker Road Station and McKinney's CBD. However, Allen, Fairview, and McKinney are not contributing DART member cities, so DART can't extend the Red Line any further north.
This rapidly-developing, heavily-commuted corridor has huge potential for light rail extension, but since the Texas State Legislature refuses to raise the limit on sales tax (currently capped at 8.25%), the cities along this railroad are unable to contribute the necessary 1% sales tax income required to join DART, and thus receive light rail.
God forbid we raise taxes!
Trevor is only partially correct. Yes, the Texas Legislature has capped the maximum Texas State City Sales Tax Rate at 8.25%. But Allen, Fairview and McKinney City Councils have chosen not to join Dart and allow the State to contribute 1% of these three City's Sales Taxes collected from businesses by the State, but the three Cities still allow the 1% tax to be collected, and the State funds this money back to the Cities and into their 4B program which funds the three Cities Economic and Community Development Funds. In McKinney 1/2 cent goes into each fund for encouraging new businesses to move to McKinney and for McKinney community improvements. So it is not really that the three cities are "unable to join and contribute one cent sales tax to DART", it is a fact that the cities are actually "unwilling" to stop funding their own Improvement Funds.
@Joel spitzer, The line you asked about was indeed SP/Cotton Belt. It was taken over by DGNO shortly after UP acquired it though merger with SP. DGNO used the section from Renner JCT to Addison primarily to service a Lattimore Ready Mix Plant in Plano on the KCS, A Packing Plant West of Jupiter Rd, and a Crating Business South of 10th street. All of which are no longer using rail service. The connection with KCS at Renner JCT was removed and the line abandoned from Renner JCT to a point just East of Addison Rd.
Hey Lee. I have a full length of rail from the Santa Fe's Paris branch that has a date of 1913. I cut it in half to roughly 20 ft. and built a mining cart that sits on it. That, and lots and lots of glass telegraph insulators I've found along the line that isn't there anymore. That old stuff is out there.
I believe the reason that the DART doesn't run to McKinney is because of Allen not being happy about the revenue split. I also believe that the Houston and Texas Central is how hi-75 [Central Avenue] got its name.
McKinney has a real problem with allowing good business in- the city council loves approving self storage, pawn shops and bail bond and major tenements with thousands of low income people and no road improvements to improve the traffic- just as long as they don't put these businesses in their neighbor hoods-so funding light rail would be out of the question