Siteseeing in Dallas, Texas - Using the DART Rail Red Line For A Local's POV

Introduction

Today, I decided to just ride the Dart Red Line up to downtown Plano, Texas and take notes on what I saw while sitting in the train. There seems to be a lot random thoughts in my head when I sit down. The photos refer to the standout memories of my journeys. I will add more information to this article since I keep riding DART. If I have written an article about a stop, I will place a link to that HubPages article at the end of the paragraph.

There are certain building which I think are worth visiting if you are into architecture. At those buildings, I listed the architect responsible in parenthesis. I have added a few links to the DART site at the end of this article, because I have not covered everything DART has to offer.

A few tips.

  • DART has four lines: The Red Line, The Green Line, The Blue Line, and the Orange Line. If you are not sure which one to take you can ask the station attendant or use one of the information boxes.
  • If you are going to the State Fair take the green line. http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Sight-Seeing-in-Dallas-Riding-the-Green-Line-to-the-State-Fair-of-Texas
  • The ticket machines will give dollar coins as change. The station attendants do not give out change, as far as I know. I have not seen change machines present.
  • When you but you ticket, check to see if it has a date stamped on it. The day tickets should have a stamp but some of the others need to be validated before you ride the train.
  • The ticket machines located at the stations do accept major credit cards.


Johndnathan wrote an excellent article that is a great guide for people who are riding for the first time. I would really recommend reading it if you have some questions about what to do.

Public Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is a great clock.  You can find it at the Akard Station  One the hours the balls are released to follow the tracks in the case.Public Sculpture at the Hampton Station.  I took this snap shot across the street from the station.Rosa Parks Plaza.  It is just off of the West End StopCancer Survivors Plaza.  It is just south of Pearl Street stop.This is at the entrance to the Plaza of the Americas.  It is at the Pearl Street Stop
This is a great clock.  You can find it at the Akard Station  One the hours the balls are released to follow the tracks in the case.
This is a great clock. You can find it at the Akard Station One the hours the balls are released to follow the tracks in the case. | Source
Public Sculpture at the Hampton Station.  I took this snap shot across the street from the station.
Public Sculpture at the Hampton Station. I took this snapshot across the street from the station. | Source
Rosa Parks Plaza.  It is just off of the West End Stop
Rosa Parks Plaza. It is just off of the West End Stop | Source
Cancer Survivors Plaza.  It is just south of Pearl Street stop.
Cancer Survivors Plaza. It is just south of Pearl Street stop. | Source
This is at the entrance to the Plaza of the Americas.  It is at the Pearl Street Stop
This is at the entrance to the Plaza of the Americas. It is at the Pearl Street Stop | Source

The Red Line Stops

Westmoreland Station

This stop is a commuter stop with parking. It is close to Tachito’s and a Donut Shop. There is a shopping center across the street with some small eating establishments and some chain stores. Check out my article on Tachitos. You can find links to my articles about specific places towards the end of this article

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dining-in-Dallas-Delicious-DART-Destination-Tachitos

Hampton Station

This stop has commuter parking; but, there are no commercial establishments close to this station. It is a busy station, popular with both commuters and neighbors. If you waiting for a train at this station, take advantage of the air conditioned waiting area. There is an attendant on duty at this station.

If you are a Fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn, then this stop should interest you. There are some paving bricks that have some verse carved into them. The verses were written by Stevie Ray Vaughn and his brother Jimmie. They grew up in Oak Cliff and went to Kimball High School just before he started his music career in Austin..


Tyler Vernon Station

No commuter parking at this stop. It is strictly a neighborhood stop.

On the way to the next stop, I can see an old bridge support still standing. There is something special about it. It‘s sort of a memory of the old bridge that was there. Aldo Rossi called these type of ruins the bones of the city

Dallas Zoo Station

The train stops at the front door of the Dallas Zoo. It is the best way to get there. You don't have to put up with traffic. Also, the train gives you a chance to rest before driving/walking home.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/DART-Destination-Dallas-Zoo

8th and Corinth Station

This is a neighborhood stop, but there is one attraction. The Santa Fe Trestle Trail is a park on the Trinity River Bottom that incorporates portions of the old trestle bridges for the Santa Fe Line. It is popular with nature lovers, walkers, and people with kayaks. There is access to the river. Probably better to drive if your going to kayak.

On the way to the next stop, there is an excellent view of the downtown skyline and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge - Designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Cedar Station Station

I could not see anything from the train, except some of the public art that DART commisioned. On the way to the next station, I can see a Gloco Gas Station. One of the old Art Deco Stations is still standing! It looks like it’s for sale. Good, the developers did not tear them all down.

Convention Center Station

This stop is under the Dallas Convention Center, about a block from the Omni Hotel and from the Founders Cemetary. I know from personal experience, this is the way to go for conventions. It is also near the Dallas City Hall. (It was designed by I.M. Pei.) Unauthorized photographs are not allowed at this train stop. This is the only location I know of with this restriction.

Union Station

The first thing that catches your at this stop is the Dallas landmark Reunion Tower, which is a part of the Hyatt Regency. This is a very spectacular view. Union Station is a restored train station which was designed in the Beaus Arts Style. The DART website indicates a tunnel access to Reunion Tower and the Hyatt Regency. It is not obvious from the train, so check with the station monitor. The Rail lines to Fort Worth and Irving are here. That's a whole different series of articles. There are other hotels nearby, as well a some places to eat. There is also some great public art, if you do not mind walking a block or two. Founders Plaza is close to to this stop.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-Dart-Destination-Union-Station-Parks-and-Places-to-Eat

West End Station

This is the stop for tourists and students. It is by far the most consistently crowded stop on the line. It is near the 6thFloor Museum, Kennedy Memorial, the World Aquarium, El Centro College, and a wide variety of restaurants. Older architectural styles dominate, until the next stop The Old Spaghetti Warehouse is one of my childhood favorites. I have a couple of articles about this area.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-Dart-Destination-West-End-Stop-JFK-Memorial

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-Dart-Destination-West-End-Station-Again-Its-a-Busy-Station

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-Light-Rail-Stop-West-End-Station-Rosa-Parks-Memorial

Akard Station

This is downtown Dallas proper. The administration for DART is located here in the old Sanger Harris building. Yes kids, a long time ago downtown Dallas was the closest thing we had to a shopping mall. All the cool people, or whatever the media is saying those days, shopped there. It was the parents because they were the only ones with money.

Thanksgiving Square is located a block away, to the north.

One thing I am fascinated by is that there are some banner ads four stories high for various merchandise. It is the scale of the banners that fascinates me. I love large scale murals and these were close. There is a lot to explore at this stop, including a number of little restaurants. If you are going to Main Street, this is the closest stop. It is two blocks away.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-DART-Destination-Akard-Station-Installment-1

St. Paul Station.

This is close to the arts district, the Dallas museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture garden (It was designed by (It was designed by Renzo Piano), the Dallas symphony Hall (It was designed by I.M. Pei), and the new Winspear Opera House, (It was designed by Spencer de Grey ).

On the ride back home, I got off the train at this stop and walked to Thanksgiving Square. (The Akard Station is closer and the park is easier to access from there.) It is a small park and chapel in downtown Dallas. (It was designed by Philip Johnson.) The park makes use of water and is very peaceful. The chapel is unusual; and, the most spectacular feature is the ceiling. I had lunch at the “Original Italian Café” which is located at the St. Paul stop The train literally stops at their front door.

The “Original Italian Café” is a no nonsense Italian Café. I had a large slice of pizza with Italian sausage topping with a soda. The price was under $6.00. The pizza was excellent. The crust was light and slightly crispy and had the right mixture of cheese, sauce, and topping. I am not sure how they did this; but, the service in this place was better than most full service places I go to. If you are sightseeing on the DART rail line this is the place to stop for lunch, or dinner. They also serve salads, pastas, sub sandwiches and soups. If you work, or live, in downtown Dallas, they do deliver. At least, that’s what their take out menu says.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-DART-Destination-St-Paul-Station-Arts-District

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/The-Nacho-Tour-The-Mad-Hatter-Cafe

Pearl St. Station

The Plaza of Americas is right off of this stop. This building has an ice skating rink and plenty of places to eat and some shops. If you are taking any tests required by the state of Texas, the testing agency has a center here. The train beats parking in the garage.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/Dallas-Light-Rail-Destination-Take-the-Red-Line-to-Plaza-of-the-Americas

After this stop, you leave downtown, and from the train there are some great views of the sky scrapers moving into the distance. At this point, the train actually enters a tunnel.


City Place Stop

This stop is a big disappointment to me. I had expected the one underground stop on the DART system to be a destination stop. The only reason to get off at the City Place stop is if you work at the City Place Tower, and the access to that tower is restricted. The escalators to the surface are endless and steep. One run caused my fear of heights to kick in. There is a shopping center next to the tower; but, you have to walk around the tower. In defense of DART, one of the two surface exits was under repair. I don’t know where the other exit will take me. The only things offered at the shopping center are big box retailers. Most of those type retailers are geared toward the suburban driving crowd. It is easier to drive to the center and park. The parking lot was not even crowded. I will admit the station itself looks great. If you are just touring the stations, then walk around the station and get back on the train. You have to acquire permission from DART to take pictures of this station, so I do not have any personal pictures to show.

Mockingbird Station

This is an interesting stop. I know that it is a relatively new mixed development. Well, new in that I can remember it being built. I have been there before; but it been a while. It had a apartments, restaurants, bar, gelato shop, the Angelika theater and some other stuff. I will have to go back and see what it’s like now. The stop is in a canyon and there are escalators and elevators.

Lovers Lane Station

This one I visit more regularly, especially on Saint Patrick’s Day. The annual parade is held on Greenville Ave., which is a block away. If you are a foodie, “Central Market” is hiding behind the Crispy Cream Donut shop. There are a number of restaurants, bars, shops and other things in the Old Town Shopping Center. I get my hair cut at Mustang Barbers. Ask for Todd, he is good.

One block north of this stop is Shuck and Jive. I think it is one of the best Cajun food places in Dallas. It is well worth walking one blo

Park Lane Stop and Walnut Hill Stop

These are elevated stations. I could see restaurants; but, nothing close. The Parklane stop has a shuttle to Northpark Mall, which is worth visiting. This is one of two stops that are near a movie theater. The AMC Theater is located by the second floor food courts in Northpark Mall. It primarily shows commercial films and is family oriented. Matinees are always less expensive.

Forest Lane Stop, LBJ Central Stop, Spring Valley Stop

These were neighborhood stops and nothing really stood out. At the Spring Valley stop you are in Richardson, Texas. There are some apartments at the Spring Valley Stop, but that is all that I saw.

These stops may have destinations that are not obvious. I will keep you updated as I continue to research the areas as time allows.

Arapaho Stop

It is just a commuter station.

Galatyn Park Stop

Mixed use development, I saw it going up during the 1990 technology boom. I will wait for cooler weather to explore here.

Bush Turnpike Stop

It is just a commuter Stop. You can see farm land, if you look hard.

Down Town Plano Station

This one is worth its own article. The stop is right next to the Haggard Memorial Park, with direct access. The park is really well maintained. There are apartments, antique shops, a farmers market, a number of restaurants. There is mixture of old and new construction. This place is well worth the trip. There is a costurme and magic shop in the area that is work visiting.

http://leroy64.hubpages.com/hub/This-Urban-Hobo-Rides-The-DART-Red-Line-to-Plano-Texas


Smart Phone Snaps - Plano, Texas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
It's a gazebo at Haggard memorial park.  They used to be all over the place.This is great.  It is near the Train Station.Haggard Memorial Park
It's a gazebo at Haggard memorial park.  They used to be all over the place.
It's a gazebo at Haggard memorial park. They used to be all over the place. | Source
This is great.  It is near the Train Station.
This is great. It is near the Train Station. | Source
Haggard Memorial Park
Haggard Memorial Park | Source

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower at Night - Close to the view at Reunion Station
Reunion Tower at Night - Close to the view at Reunion Station | Source
Original Italian Cafe. Great food.
Original Italian Cafe. Great food. | Source

Eighth and Corinth Stop - Sane Fe Trestle Trail

The Sante Fe Trestle Trail is a new hiking and biking trail.  While the city is not far away you can get a glimpse of what Dallas was like before we got here, but just a glimpse.
The Sante Fe Trestle Trail is a new hiking and biking trail. While the city is not far away you can get a glimpse of what Dallas was like before we got here, but just a glimpse. | Source
The Trinity River
The Trinity River | Source
A pedestrian bridge that incorporates an older rail line into its construction.
A pedestrian bridge that incorporates an older rail line into its construction. | Source
The shadows on the bridge were interesting to me.
The shadows on the bridge were interesting to me. | Source

Random Thoughts

I have random thoughts while I am waiting for the train or riding the train. It would be a shame to waste them. So here they are:

  • · Why am I doing this in 107 degrees? I am so glad the trains are air conditioned.
  • · The real difference between men and women is glimpsed when, looking in a mirror, she says “I’m a fatty!” and he says “Who’s your daddy!’. Both statements seem pretty delusional to me.
  • · If you close your eyes and hold still, you can feel the rhythm of the wheel.
  • · The stations each have their own unique character and could make an interesting journey in itself.
  • · Is the train moving me, or is the train moving the world past me?
  • · Does that guy really think he has a chance with her?


More by this Author


Comments 5 comments

johndnathan profile image

johndnathan 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas. USA

You meet lots of interesting people on the train, though I find the most interesting people are on the buses... they're usually friendly, and sometimes too friendly, but it seems everyone's got a story to tell.

Oh and thanks for the shout out to my DART riding hub for tourists.

See you in the urban jungle.


leroy64 profile image

leroy64 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) Author

Thank you Phil. Get on that train and write. I think it is fun, and a good source of inspiration.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

You keep hubbing about the Dart - maybe I should do the same about the commuter rail line that is close to me. I'm just not on it on a regular basis.


leroy64 profile image

leroy64 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) Author

Hi Sally,

I know what you mean about the cars. The train does get crowded from time to time, so I would say Dallas is adapting. The Cafe has a menu posted on their window, by the station where they make the pizza. One thing that I missed seeing is Bar-B-Q joints, besides Sonny Bryan's. I like Sonny Bryans, but they are a chain. There has to be some independents around the DART stops. This is Texas, even in Dallas.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Fun ride! I think I'll stop for pizza at the St. Paul stop. You know, Texans have a lot to learn about public transportation. We have always believed thst every man (woman) needs his (her) own car.

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