A Southwestern Interurban Railway - 1930's - 1940's
Texas Electric Railway


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The Texas Electric Railway (TE) was an interurban electric railway in the state of Texas. Centered in Dallas, it had a main extending north to Denison, 97 miles, south to Waco, 67.5 miles, and southeast to Corsicana, 46 miles. The TE was formed between 1901 and 1916, as three traction companies were built and then merged. It was a very successful line, as interurbans go, partially because it was built and operated by non-utility interests, to high standards amd with good equipment. It went into carload freight business in 1928, and offered frequent and fast passenger car service with express trains operating at 50 mph speeds on all its lines. When the Corsicana branch became unprofitable in 1941 it was abandoned. Good passenger service continued until 1948 on the Waco and Denison runs, when the results of increasing truck and auto traffic and a disastrous crash caused cessation of operations in December 1948.
Short History of the Texas Electric Railway
1901 - The Denison and Sherman Railway (D&S) builds an interurban electric line from Denison, Texas south to Sherman, 11 miles.
1908 - The Texas Traction Company (TTC) opens an interurban electric line from Dallas, Texas north to Sherman, 86 miles.
1909 - The TTC absorbed the D&S, so a northern line from Dallas to Denison is completed. The line was built on private right of way parallel to, and for much of the way adjacent, to the Houston and Texas Central (Southern Pacific).
1912 - The Southern Traction Company (STC) is incorporated.
1912-13 - The STC builds two electric interurban lines; one, south from Dallas, via Waxahachie and Hillsboro, to Waco, 97 miles, and one from Dallas southeast, via Ferris and Ennis, to Corsicana, 52 miles.
1914 - The two STC lines were placed in service on January 1.
1916 - The two northern lines and the STC were merged as the Texas Electric Railway (TE). The lines were built to high standards for fast speeds, using city street car tracks only to reach downtown Dallas. A new terminal was eventually built for the interurban lines by the unaffiliated Dallas City system,

TE 1948
Texas Electric
May 23, 1948
1916-1930 - The TE operated with high quality arched roof steel cars, with arched windows. Service was excellent with hourly service on all lines and extra cars from Sherman to Denison. Cars often operated as multiple units, especially in rush hours. Cars were capable of 60 mph speeds, and normally operated expresses, called Blue Bonnets, on 50 mph carding, stopping only at cities
1928 - TE begins carload freight business to supplement declining passenger business.
1930-48 - A few mid-day runs were eliminated but the TE operated a fairly full schedule of cars. The TE was one of the few interurban railways to run RPO cars.
1931 - Although the TE was a very financially sound railway, unusual for an interurban railway, the depression caused it to go into receivership in 1931.
1936 - TE emerges from receivership
1941 - The lightly traveled Corsicana branch is abandoned, as TE cites losses on this line is impairing returns.
1941-45 - War years are profitable for TE.
post 1945 - Traffic falls drastically as car and truck traffic increases.
1947 - Gross revenue is 1/2 of that of 1944.
1948 - In May the TE is still operating about a dozen cars per day between Dallas and Denison, and Dallas and Waco, but end is near.
1948 - A head on collision of two passenger cars killed several people, and contributes to the end of the TE, which was abandoned in December 1948.

TEXE map
Texas Electric (TE)
and Connecting
lines - 1930's



TEXEmap48
Texas Electric - 1948
with Corsicana
Branch gone


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- Various editions
The Electric Interurban Railways in America-Hilton & Due- pp 376-77
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Copyright Richard Parks, May 1, 2009