Things are moving along pretty quickly here at McKinney Avenue Trolley. Track work has begun on our newest extension and we’ll soon reach further into Downtown Dallas. To cope with the higher demand that will be placed on our little trolley line, the shop has been hard at work restoring the latest addition to our fleet.
Dallas Railway & Terminal car #754, or “Betty” as we like to call her, was built in 1927 for the DR&T and operated here in Dallas until her retirement in January 1956. She is a Peter Witt car and originally had a center door entrance. The DR&T later removed the center doors and rebuilt the car for one man operation. Shortly after system abandonment, Ben Carpenter (son of the president of Dallas Railway and Terminal Company from 1927 to 1935) moved Betty to his family’s Hackberry Creek Ranch in Irving, Texas, and placed it on concrete blocks. There she served as a playhouse for the his children and grandchildren. At one point the family built a miniature town around the car. But by 1994 all the children & grandchildren had grown up so Mr.Carpenter decided to donate the car to McKinney Avenue Transit Authority. She was in fantastic shape and had been well taken care of by the Carpenter family. She was sent to Edwards Motor Car Company in Alabama for a full restoration, and arrived back in Dallas at our car barn in 2009. Since then the shop has been busy designing and installing the new control system that will power Betty. When done, she will be the most modern streetcar in our fleet. Powered by AC motors, riding on resilient wheels, and using a computer controlled operating system she’ll provide a much smoother ride for our passengers. The shop is pushing to have Betty in service soon. So don’t be surprised if you see her trundeling down the street in the near future. Until then, enjoy some of the restoration pictures taken over the last few months as Betty gets closer to her debut. See you on the car line.
Here you can see Ryan Landrum busy wiring the car. Thanks to his hard work, both inside and out, Betty will look, feel, and operate just like any of our other vintage cars.
Here is a shot of one of the new trucks that will go under 754. Here you can see the new AC motors that will propel the car forward, and the newly designed brake system that will bring the car to a stop. Volunteer Jim Aust designed the new brake system and is partly responsible for it’s installation.
Betty’s other truck being moved(under it’s own power!) for a test fit under 754.