The past and the present exist side-by-side in downtown Plano, where a beautifully restored 1911 railway car is parked within walking distance to modern-day DART light rail tracks. In shiny, cherry-red Post Office Car #360, you can’t help but feel that travel was a little more glamorous back in the 1920s and 30s, even though the train may well have been full of work-weary farming families sharing their space with that day’s mail.
Next to the retired railway car stands the only remaining depot from the Texas Electric Railway, a line that ran from Dallas to Denison from 1908 to 1948. The depot was also an electric sub-station that converted the current to power the railway. After being restored in 1990, the depot opened as the Interurban Railway Museum in 1991 (the same year it was deemed a Texas Historical Landmark).
Both kids and adults will enjoy a visit to the museum. It houses historical Plano photos, interesting railway artifacts, educational science experiments and a model train running through a miniature turn-of-the-century Plano. We were guided by a well-informed rail car motor man through the exhibits, and then onto car #360 herself.
Admission is free, but a small donation to support the museum is suggested. After your visit, you could stroll through picturesque Haggard Park, or walk to any of the shops and restaurants in downtown Plano. Or, for the heck of it, you could always ride the DART train to compare it to its vintage cousin a few hundred feet away.
Interurban Railway Museum Website >