Tandy Center Subway

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Tandy Center Subway
route diagram
Stop 3
Carbarn
Stop 2
Stop 1
Stop 4
Terminal

The Tandy Center Subway operated in Fort Worth, Texas (USA) from February 15, 1963[1] to August 30, 2002.[2] It ran a distance of 0.7 miles (1.1 km) and was, during the period of its operation, the only privately owned subway in the United States.[3]

History[edit]

The subway was originally built by Leonard's Department Store in 1963, connecting the store to its large parking lots on the edge of downtown. Originally known as the Leonard's M&O Subway, it consisted of one underground station beneath the store and four stations in the parking lots. The Tandy Corporation purchased the department store, its parking lots, and the subway in 1967. The corporation built its headquarters, the Tandy Center, on the site in 1974. Although it demolished the original store, Tandy retained the subway.

The small subway primarily served patrons visiting the mall at the base of the Tandy Center, which also linked to the Fort Worth Central Library. However, the anchor tenant moved out in 1995 and the mall declined. The Tandy Center Subway ceased operation on August 30, 2002.

After the closure, one of the streetcars used on the subway was acquired by Dallas's McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, who modified it to again make it suitable for in-street use, and it operated in service on the McKinney Avenue heritage streetcar line in Dallas until the mid-to late 2000s. As of 2012, it remained in storage in Dallas, out of use.[4]

In April 1982, the first PCC streetcar to run the line in 1963, "Leonard's Number 1", was saved from the cutting torch by a Tandy computer programmer and stored on a farm south of Fort Worth, where it remained for over 25 years. It was donated to the Leonard's Museum[5] in 2007. On February 2, 2008, it was moved to a restoration location near Benbrook, Texas. After restoration it will be returned to the Leonard's Museum for public display in Fort Worth, Texas.

Rolling stock[edit]

A Tandy Center Subway streetcar.

Between 1962 and 1966, Leonard's acquired a total of 15 PCC streetcars from DC Transit in Washington, D.C.. These had been manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company in the 1930s and 1940s.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Handbook of Texas Online - Leonard Brothers". 18 January 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "Preserving Texas History: Tandy Subway". 31 August 2002. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Fort Worth, Texas". 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 
  4. ^ "Car 143: Winnie". McKinney Avenue Transit Authority. April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ Leonard's Department Store Museum
  6. ^ Randall, W. David (1974). Railway Passenger Car Annual, Volume I, 1973-1974. Park Forest, IL: RPC Publications. p. 134. 

External links[edit]