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dallas / fort worth fan trips

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  • Member since
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  • From: australia
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dallas / fort worth fan trips
Posted by peterjenkinson1956 on Monday, December 3, 2007 9:17 PM
I will be visiting Fort Worth in april 2008   from Australia....  any modellers /  train fans in the area interested in showing me around  or  giving some tips on the best train watching spots  or  places not to go near...security ...  i would like to hear from you  thanks  peter
  • Member since
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  • From: Austin TX
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Posted by spbed on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 9:15 AM

Well once ur trip comes closer you can contact me at spbed@yahoo.com & if I am available I will be happy to meet you. In any case plan time to get to Saginaw by the white grain elevators in Ft. Worth to see some good BNSF & UPRR action Smile [:)]

 

 

 peterjenkinson1956 wrote:
I will be visiting Fort Worth in april 2008   from Australia....  any modellers /  train fans in the area interested in showing me around  or  giving some tips on the best train watching spots  or  places not to go near...security ...  i would like to hear from you  thanks  peter

Living nearby to MP 186 of the UPRR  Austin TX Sub

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 20, 2008 1:40 PM

I lived in Dallas from 1976 until 2007, except for a nearly five year break, when I lived in Melbourne, Victoria. 

Having grown up in Altoona, Pennsylvania, I have been a railway fan for more years than I can remember.  Altoona was the heavy works of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

One of the best spots to watch freight traffic, as well as the comings and goings of the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), is the TRE platform at the old T&P station in Fort Worth.  It is the western terminus of the TRE.  You will be able to see numerous container, merchandise, and coal trains on the Union Pacific, as well as BNSF trains running past Tower 55.  Be sure to go inside the station for a look around.  It has been restored and is beautiful.  It is an excellent example of a first class mid-western railway station.

Also, while you are in Fort Worth, pop over to the Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) around 1345.  If they are running on time, you will be able to see the Heartland Flyer, as well as the northbound and southbound Texas Eagle.  The Flyer is due in from Oklahoma City at 1239.  The southbound Eagle is due in at 1355; the northbound Eagle is due at 1358.  The trains hold in the station for more than half an hour for servicing.  You can walk down the platform to have a look at them.  No one is likely to bother you unless there is a high security alert, which does not happen very often.

Also, while you are in Fort Worth, you should take in the stock yards.  They provide an interesting insight into what was for many decades Fort Worth's main economic engine.  And if you are lucky, you might get to see the Grapevine Vintage Railroad's steam engine arrive from Grapevine.  It was out of service, but they may have it back on the road by April.  You can get to the stockyards from the ITC.  Just ask the folks in the information booth, which is located inside the ITC, for the number of the bus to the stockyards.    

If you have time, you should take the TRE to Dallas.  You can catch it from the T&P station or the ITC.  It is 51.2 kilometers from Fort Worth.  The trip takes about one hour and five minutes.  The normal day pass fare is $4.50 USD, but if you are a senior citizen (65+) you can get a day pass for $1.50.  Just be sure to have some age identification on you. 

In Dallas you can visit Dallas Union Station, which is an excellent example of a near turn of the century union station.  It was opened in 1913 if I remember correctly.  There are some excellent railway pictures in the under ground passageway between the station and the Hyatt hotel.  Also, assuming you are not pressed for time, you could take a ride on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail system.  You can make an across the platform transfer in Dallas for the light rail train.  Take a Red Line or Blue Line train as far as Mockingbird Station, at least, and having a look at the shops around the station.  It is also a good place to grab a bite to eat.

Dallas Union Station sits on the mainline of the Union Pacific between LAX and points to the northeast.  If you hang around for awhile, you are likely to see a good number of eastbound and westbound freights.  In addition, you could see some BNSF trains coming off the old Frisco Line, as well as a Garland & Northern train or two. 

Dallas Union Station is also a short walk from the West End, where there are plenty of pubs if you are so inclined.  There are also a lot of good restaurants in the West End.  They range in price from modest to very expensive.  If you like pasta and don't want to spend a large amount of money for a meal, The Spaghetti Warehouse is a good bet.  

Whilst living in Melbourne I passed through Flinders Street Station practically every day.  My home was in Toorak.  Frequently, I would take the tram to South Yarra, where I would catch the train to Flinders Street, and walk to my place of work at the corner of Elizabeth and Burke streets.  I rode every tram line and commuter rail line into and out of Melbourne.  Also, I have ridden the Overland from Adelaide to Melbourne and vice versa (3); the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth; the Countrylink from Melbourne to Sydney and return (5), as well as the QR's Tilt Train, Outback Express, and Queenslander. 

I loved Australia; it was in many respects the best placed that I ever lived.  Cheers, and have a nice trip to Fort Worth

  

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Redneck Land(Little Rock), Arkansas
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Posted by arkansasrailfan on Thursday, January 24, 2008 6:01 PM
You can ride the Dart, part of which goes over abandoned trackage(which railroad-rock island?)
The Museum of the American Railroad(Age of Steam) has a GG1 a Big Boy, a Doodlebug(ATSF)
and a bunch of other equipment. You can also watch the commuter lines.
Dallas and Fort Worth both have a stuff to go see and do railroad wise.
-Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!! www.youtube.com/user/wyomingrailfan
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:52 PM

The DART Red Line, which goes from Westmoreland in Southwest Oak Cliff to Plano, through downtown Dallas, follows most of the right of way of the former Santa Fe line that ran from Dallas to Cleburne.  It follows the Santa Fe from Westmoreland to near downtown.  In fact, when crossing the Trinity River, you can see the old Santa Fe trestle.

The portion of the Red Line that runs from downtown Dallas to Plano goes through downtown and then dives into a tunnel under Central Expressway until it gets to Mockingbird Station where it returns to the surface.  It then parallels Central Expressway to a point just north of Walnut Hill Lane, where it goes over to the old Southern Pacific right of way that ran from East Dallas to Sherman.

The Blue Line follows the route of the old Missouri Kansas Texas right of way from Mockingbird Lane to Garland.  It uses the same tracks as the Red Line to get from downtown to Mockingbird Lane, where the Red and Blue lines split.

Interestingly, the original DART plan was to have the Red and Blue lines run northeast from downtown Dallas on the MKT right of way, which passes through Highland Park, to Mockingbird Lane.  The original plan did not include the very expensive tunnel under Central Expressway, but the good folks in upscale Highland Park did not want any light rail trains running near their swanky digs.  Oh, it was a different matter during the days of the streamliners when the Texas Special, amongst others, stopped at the MKT station in Highland Park.  Rich people don't use light rail or any other form of public transit, but they sure liked the idea of having the streamliner stop in their backyard when traveling by Pullman was the best way for ladies and gentlemen to go.

The new Orange Line to Carrolton will follow the old Union Pacific right of way that runs from just north of Victory Station to Denton.  It may have belonged to another railroad before merging with the UP, but if so I cannot remember who had it.

Dallas has made good use of abandoned railroad rights of way to build the light rail system.  In fact, it would not have been practicable to build it if the heavy rail rights of way had not been available.  It would have cost too much to build the system from scratch.

Using former railroad rights of way to build transportation infrastructure is nothing new in Dallas.  The Dallas North Tollway was built on the former Cotton Belt line that ran from Addison to downtown Dallas.

The Trinity Railway Express runs on the old Rock Island line from the North Tower in Dallas to Fort Worth.  I believe the Rock Island owned the line from the North Tower junction to Fort Worth.  I think the Frisco had rights over it from the unction to South Irving, where the line splits and heads north toward Oklahoma.  It is not part of the BNSF.  

 

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Posted by peterjenkinson1956 on Sunday, January 27, 2008 4:17 AM
thanks for the great feedback..............   i can now confirm that i will be in fort worth  around the 9th  or 10 th   of july   stating in fort worth for a few days then i will be travelling back to the west coast   so if anyone would like to catch up with us ( wife and myself )  i would be most pleased to meet you ........... i will be visiting a person i met on one of these forums   i may even get to ride in a real locomotive  ...... once again thanks for the feedback .....  peter
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Posted by Joby on Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:16 AM

Quick question: Are you looking for more UP or BNSF?

There are a lot of spots around DFW, but Tower 55 in downtown Ft Worth is a great place to start. Security is pesky in the yard(s), of course, but there are a lot of angles outside of their reach.

  • Member since
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  • From: australia
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Posted by peterjenkinson1956 on Monday, February 4, 2008 1:04 AM
bnsf  or  union pacific   i will be interested in both     i will be looking at the trains no matter what pulls the train    hope to see some long trains   what would be the longest trains thru fort worth area    i saw 140 wagon trains on norfolk southern  and a 11000ft empty table train in california...

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