Tandy owned a subway?
March 26, 2009 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Until it ceased operations in 2002, Fort Worth's Tandy Subway was the only privately-owned subway line in the United States. Efforts to restore some of the equipment are underway.
posted by drstein (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have been to Fort Worth more times than I can remember yet never knew about this; it is reminiscent of your earlier post on Amon Carter Field. Thanks for posting it!
posted by TedW at 10:21 AM on March 26, 2009

Man I used to love the Tandy Subway! I completely forgot all about it. My grandparents would take us to the mall in it - the only thing I really remember was that when you went underground and landed at the mall there seemed to be hundreds of these little light bulbs all over the ceiling. Ok, enough rambling. Thanks for the post!
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 10:31 AM on March 26, 2009

Oddly enough, I learned about this from M. Sasek's book "This is Texas."
posted by mattbucher at 10:35 AM on March 26, 2009

This was the first 'train' I ever rode(besides the Marsalis Zoo train in Ft.Worth). My family used to go to Leonard's department store regularly in the early '70s. It was really fun and very unique!
Especially since you have to drive everywhere in Texas!
posted by cherryflute at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2009

I rode it every day for about 4 years when I worked at Tandy in the 1990s. Not as romantic as it sounds. It smelled and it was unreliable. Real fun on a 110 degree summer day.
Sorry to be a grouch...I'm just sayin'.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:52 AM on March 26, 2009

privately owned public transit makes no sense.
posted by molecicco at 10:59 AM on March 26, 2009

"privately owned public transit makes no sense.
posted by molecicco at 10:59 AM on March 26 [+] [!] "

How can you consider it "public transit" when it went from a private parking lot to a private building? You are correct, but your statement is a tautology.
posted by RichAromas at 12:12 PM on March 26, 2009

Ha, rode this constantly when I worked downtown Ft. Worth, mostly because it was attached to the only free parking in all downtown on a weekday.

It was a glorified shuttle, really, but something parents could do for free with their kids.

The Tandy shopping center it was attached to, sadly, never really thrived; it had few shops you'd care about, but nothing that drew enough people consistently. Always half-empty.

FtW should forget this tiny relic and concentrate on putting in actual light rail the way Dallas did. We might move back there if they got serious about their transit. And extend the TRE line out west to Weatherford, while they're at it.

/local transit gripe filter
posted by emjaybee at 12:49 PM on March 26, 2009

molecicco: "privately owned public transit makes no sense."

Airlines make no sense?
posted by alexei at 1:09 PM on March 26, 2009

There's a proposed modern streetcar system for central Fort Worth, as well as a probably farther off commuter rail line connecting Fort Worth to DFW.
Some good info here.
I'm especially excited about the streetcar, since I will hopefully be living in Fairmount soon.
Though, since I work in Uptown Dallas, my biggest transit gripe is that Victory Station, which is blocks from my office, is only open for events at the AAC.
posted by kmz at 1:22 PM on March 26, 2009

...commuter rail line connecting Fort Worth to DFW

Aside from the TRE? And thanks for that link, our little one-car family is always geeking over future transit opportunities.

And Victory Station/AAC seems like a horribly designed boondoggle, overall. Between events, it just sits there, with no good access or day to day attractions. Dallas just cannot get the concept of downtown life right yet. The Deep Ellum DART stop might help, at least.
posted by emjaybee at 2:01 PM on March 26, 2009

I've never actually done it myself, but I remember looking up how to get to DFW using the TRE and it's a bit of a mess. You have to take a connector to a parking lot and from there take another connector to your actual terminal.
As I understand it, the proposed rail line would have stops at both the north and south ends of the airport much closer to the terminals. Of course DFW's hugeness makes things difficult. I got spoiled by the L stations actually in Midway and O'Hare when I lived in Chicago.
posted by kmz at 2:13 PM on March 26, 2009

I love how the TC logo on the front of the train is just like the one displayed by TRS-DOS when my old Tandy model 4P computer booted (only less blocky).
posted by Emanuel at 2:48 PM on March 26, 2009

Can you play Clowns and Balloons on it?
posted by evilcolonel at 2:59 PM on March 26, 2009

As a kid, I used to check a Tandy computer out of our public library and plug it into our home TV.
posted by ericbop at 3:21 PM on March 26, 2009

Hey! Those totally rad subway cars are approximately the same size, weight, and shape as an early Tandy computer. It's like Tron, man!
posted by Kikkoman at 3:25 PM on March 26, 2009

privately owned public transit makes no sense.

Tell that to Japan (pdf).
posted by armage at 6:20 PM on March 26, 2009

privately owned public transit makes no sense.

Having suffered through the privatisation and subsequent deterioration of Melbourne public transport system, I'll add that privately operated public transit makes bugger all sense too.

(and I've been screwed over by Connex in the UK too...)
posted by pompomtom at 8:34 PM on March 26, 2009

Wow, never heard of this (never been to Texas either). Here's a photo of the 1960s rolling stock exiting from the underground. It seems to have been taken approximately here, and if you back up you can follow most of the old right of way, some still tracked as of these aerials, right up to the car barn.

Boy, is that one abandoned parking lot.
posted by dhartung at 9:23 PM on March 26, 2009

Aww... how cute! It thinks it's a subway!

(this phrase also works in Boston, especially on the Green lines or the Silver "line" which is not actually a line because it's a bus and therefore not on rails)
posted by Eideteker at 5:45 AM on March 27, 2009

« Older Trading goods along social networks since 2003   |   I'm a walnut, or a female AV star Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments