The Northern Texas Traction Company began with the purchase of the City Railway of Fort Worth by George T. Bishop in 1900. Bishop also acquired the Dallas and Oak Cliff Elevated Railway to gain access to Dallas. Construction of the second interurban line in the State of Texas linked the city of Fort Worth with the city of Dallas to the east with operations commencing on July 1, 1902. The Bishop interests sold out to Stone & Webster Engineering in 1905, who then began running interurban lines to other parts of Texas.
The power generating plant and workshops for the interurban line were located in the small town of Handley just east of Fort Worth. The Northern Texas Traction Company bought land south of Handley where it developed a trolley park called Lake Erie. The pavilion at Lake Erie included a roller skate rink, a dance hall, restaurant and rides on a pier above the water.
Interurban service was available from Denison to Cleburne and Fort Worth to Dallas. Considering the alternatives were horse-drawn buggies or Model T's and Model A's on muddy and often congested roads, the Interurban lines were the equivalent of modern-day "bullet" trains in how quickly and safely passengers could travel.
Northern Texas Traction actively fought the loss of passenger traffic to the private automobile. Its efforts to maintain ridership led the company to receive the Charles A. Coffin award in 1927. Numerous ideas to improve service and improve profits were implemented including the Birney Safety Car and Crimson Limited Interurban deluxe service.
NTT was one of the first 3 traction cities to obtain Birney Safety Cars, the first city to fully equip a line with Birney Cars and a member of the Electric Railway Presidents' Conference Committee, which produced the PCC streetcar (although PCCs did not see service in Fort Worth until the advent of the Tandy Center Subway).
Stone & Webster sold the company in 1934 as the result of diminishing profits and anti-trust action brought by the federal government. The last interurban between Dallas and Fort Worth ran on Christmas Eve, 1934. Streetcar service was maintained by the transit company until 1937 when the city charter was renewed and revised.The last interurban between Dallas and Fort Worth ran on December 24, 1934, and the company’s streetcar service ended in 1937.
NTTC - Crimson Limited Car #31 - Handley, TX (late 20's)
NTT - Car #22 - in Burleson, TX in early 1920's.
Other interesting literature and maps related to the NTT's Interurban service.