Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Ruins of the Metroplex - Fort Worth's Tandy Center Subway


A 1960's Post Card of the Leonard Subway (later the Tandy Center Subway) 

   Recently, Downtown Fort Worth unveiled a modern streetcar display, a prelude to a future that someday might include a sleek and efficient way to travel to and from downtown. For a moment, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia. Didn't we already have this?

   For nearly 40 years, Fort Worth was home to the world's only privately owned subway. Born in 1963, it was built to connect Leonard's Department Store with its parking lots on the outskirts of downtown. It was later used to serve the Tandy Center, a downtown mall and corporate headquarters for the Tandy Corporation (Now Radio Shack). It took its last passengers into downtown in 2002.   

   Last week, I set out to see if I could find any remains of the Tandy Center Subway and if I could find the entrance to the tunnel leading into downtown. 

This sign still sits at the end of one of the decaying parking lots.
Unfortunately, it's no longer visible from Forest Park Boulevard because of overgrowth.
There were once four stops before the final downtown destination. The Yellow Stop still stands today.
  

A mattress in the old Red Stop suggest that is being used for some other purpose.

A simple but important warning from days gone by. 


Leaving the yellow station, the remains of the power grid overhead.

The path of the Subway before it hit the downtown tunnel.


The modern confines of Radio Shack Headquarters today. Using Google Earth Time Line I was able to determine the tunnel entrance is buried near the foot of the building on the left. 
   
A tree grows on the path to the rail barn.

Remains of the tracks leading to the rail barn and service yard.

Learn more about the Tandy Center Subway by visiting the Leonard's Department Store Museum




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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that a piece of Fort Worth history ended on August 30, 2002. Many of my friends and I use to park in the Tandy Center Parking Lot and take the subway into downtown Fort Worth. I had riden the subway since for over 20 years and I sure miss it.

SuperNerd64 said...

recently it appears the parking lot stations have been cleaned and repainted to serve the panther island pavilion events (the stations may be used as concert stages...) its a little heart breaking to see the stations repainted but i'm glad they are no longer sitting there just rotting away...

Anonymous said...

Going through old boxes and found a picture I took of the last run on the subway that day. Glad I found this site and comments on what has happened, I used it for many years when working at Radioshack, until they laid many people off so they could have money for their new building.. just my opinion though.

Anonymous said...

I just want to add, the subway would have been a good thing to keep with the growing downtown. Better than building more parking garages.

Cameron said...

I took my kids down there last fall to show them what was there once. We searched for the tunnel to no avail. We even went and wandered around the parking garages under the tandy center to see if we could find any remnants of the old arrival platforms, but were shooed away by security guards. It was fun while it lasted!

Paul Roche said...

Just an update, the old yellow and red stops are now blue and the overhead power grid has been removed along the track. The tunnel entrance I believe is just of of view in the photo of the Radio Shack building as some track can still be seen there today (7/13/14)

Pease email proche@heihotels.com if you have some artifacts or information on the Leonards Subway