The Bottom Line
- Authentic restored railway depot and train car
- In-depth exhibits
- A lot of reading means some kids won't have patience
- Steps to the train car may be too steep for some
- Location: 901 E. 15th Street in downtown Plano
- Web Site: Interurban Railway Museum
- Admission: Free. Donations are encouraged.
- Hours: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sat 1 p.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun
- Phone: (972) 941-2117
Guide Review - Interurban Railway Museum
An old-timey train car and railroad depot sit in the corner of Haggard Park near downtown Plano, housing the Interurban Railway Museum. From 1908 to 1948, the depot served as a stop along the Texas Electric Railway as it ran from Denison to Dallas.
In 1990, the depot was restored and transformed into a museum. Inside the first room, a greeting area holds a visitors' book and pamphlets about the area. Further in are detailed exhibits showing the history of Plano and the economic impact of the railway.
A second much larger room contains artifacts, such as a conductor's uniform, train seats, and a variety of equipment used daily on the train. The details of how the train worked and how the electricity was created take up half the room. Photographs of Plano and the railway from the time of the Texas Electric Railway line one wall.
Car 360, just outside the depot, is available for viewing on guided tours only. There aren't set times for the tours, although you can arrange for individual tours for a group. A guide stands inside the depot and waits until enough people are ready for a tour. The tour lasts ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the size of the crowd and how many questions are asked.
The railway car is set up as half mail car and half passenger car. The seats look comfortable and roomy even by modern standards, although the train carried farm folk and wealthy alike. The mail area has a locking door to keep train robbers out and mail sorting and postmarking equipment of the time.
The Interurban Railway Museum holds kids' interest with the artifacts and some of the photos, but there is a lot of reading. With children, plan to spend twenty minutes in the depot. The train car should keep their attention. For those with mobility limitations, the depot is fully accessible, but the train car has several steep steps.