Interurban crash
September 26, 2016 01:26PM
Anyone know the exact location of the interurban accident at the Kirkland switch near Royal Lane?
Re: Interurban crash
September 26, 2016 03:40PM
There were probably a bazillion interurban collisions/tipovers/derailments/etc. over the years the cars operated. What was the nature of the accident and approximate date range?
Re: Interurban crash
September 26, 2016 09:10PM
Back in 1970 I was assigned to the Beat around Vickery. There was an older man that grew up in Vickery before it was part of Dallas.

He and his brothers were framing carpenters and framed many of the homes that were being built in North Dallas.

He always spoke of the head-on collision involving the Interurban that occurred at what he called Kirkland Switch. There is a photo that was published with the headline story of the collision in the Dallas Morning News in which a man on a horse is shown at the wreck scene, that was him.

I asked him exactly where it occurred and he told me that he and one of his brothers had returned to the location many times after the accident and he said for several years there was still small pieces of debris that remained. He said the exact location was 77 paces north of the small roadway that entered the electric substation east of the Interurban tracks, north of Meadow Road and east of Manderville Lane.

He also talked of an incident that occurred south of where Presbyterian Hospital is now located. Apparently the Interurban tracks crossed under the railroad tracks. Just south of the underpass, two men built a large fire on the tracks forcing the southbound Interurban to stop. When the car stopped they entered and using a shotgun robbed the passengers and the operator.

Shortly afterwards two deputy sheriffs observed the two at a bootleggers house and found the Interurban operator's pocket watch on one of them, so they were arrested and charged with the robberies. Adding to this story, he told me a few months later the bootlegger burned his barn and a shed down when his still exploded and none of the neighbors would assist as their wives knew what he was and thought it was the best for the community.

I bet living in Vickery was a new experience everyday. My grandfather trained at a World War I training field located where the old
Olla Podrida complex was located on Coit Road. The trainees were stationed at Camp Dick which was located where Fair Park is now located. He always talked of using the Interurban tracks and the bridge over White Rock Creek (north of Royal Lane) as landmarks for navigation and the point of turn to line up with the runway at the air field.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
Re: Interurban crash
September 27, 2016 04:25PM
Roy, a contributor to this board, wrote in "Parkdale Lake" on October 13, 2004, about the "Kirkland Switch, which is located north of Meadow Road and east of Manderville Lane. There is a large transformer station there now."

Kirkdale Switch is generally described as a "passing point" or rail siding. DallasCop2566 agrees with the location.

In 1912, Texas Traction Co. employee J. P. Nenney was crushed near Kirkland Switch by a gravel car that had been misdirected by a switchman. (Nenney later died of pneumonia contracted during his recovery from the accident.) The siding saw its share of less serious accidents in the following decades. [Texas Traction Co. v. Nenney, 178 S.W. 797 (Tex. App. 1915)]

However, the accident TXDore and DallasCop2566 refer to is probably the April 10, 1948, head-on collision of two cars. Margaret Gilson's master's thesis, "A History of the Texas Electric Railway, 1917 - 1955" relates the following:

“When the operator of a northbound car stopped at the Vickery station, he received orders to go approximately one mile further to the Kirkland switch and to wait until the 5:30 a.m. car from McKinney passed through. The motorman failed to obey the instructions. The car proceeding north was only about half full, but the car travelling south was so crowded passengers were standing in the aisle. Fortunately, when the accident occurred the southbound car had not yet picked up speed after stopping for some passengers. It was travelling about twenty-five to thirty miles an hour. Both motormen driving each car saw a crash was inevitable; consequently, they locked the car brakes and ran back through the cars trying to warn passengers of the shock to come.

"Even though both cars were going slow by the time they made contact, it was quite a spectacular accident. The southbound car drove like a wedge a quarter way into the northbound car. Seats came loose and both seats and passengers were scattered all over the area surrounding the tracks. Help came very quickly as ambulances, squads of police, and all available deputy sheriffs rushed to the scene. Forty-nine people suffered injury, two were in serious condition, and one was in critical condition. Luckily there were no fatalities and even those seriously hurt eventually recovered.

“This accident was the death blow for Texas Electric Railway Company. The company simply did not have the money to pay for all the damages.”

According to the Dallas News a week later, the Texas Electric Railroad Company petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue interurban service.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2016 06:31PM by RWilliams.
Re: Interurban crash
September 27, 2016 09:44PM
txdore:

E-mail me at: DallasCop2566@gmail.com and I will send you a copy of the Dallas Morning News Article regarding this accident.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
Re: Interurban crash
September 28, 2016 10:56AM
I hadn't realized that the interurban routes around North Texas ran as recently as that. Were the routes going from Dallas to Fort Worth and Waco still running at that time? Thanks, McNeely

Dave McNeely
Re: Interurban crash
September 28, 2016 11:14AM
"The Dallas-Corsicana branch was discontinued in 1941 and the Dallas-Waco and Dallas-Denison branches in 1948," according to the "Electric Interurban Railways" entry in the Handbook of Texas Online.

Also: "The last interurban railway to be built in the United States, the Houston North Shore Railway Company, built twenty-six miles from Houston through Baytown to Goose Creek in 1927. It operated until 1948."
Re: Interurban crash
September 29, 2016 03:08PM
RWilliams Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "The Dallas-Corsicana branch was discontinued in
> 1941 and the Dallas-Waco and Dallas-Denison
> branches in 1948," according to the "Electric
> Interurban Railways" entry in the Handbook of
> Texas Online
.
>
> Also: "The last interurban railway to be built in
> the United States, the Houston North Shore Railway
> Company, built twenty-six miles from Houston
> through Baytown to Goose Creek in 1927. It
> operated until 1948."

Thank you

Dave McNeely
Re: Interurban crash
November 19, 2016 06:14AM
Yes, the 1948 head on crash was the old I was referring to. My grandfather told me the story and I think I had read about it elsewhere.That area was all old apartments, but there is considerable redevelopment in the area now.

Wonder if that location and this accident is worthy of a historical marker?
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