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Radio Shack Selling Subway Cars on eBay 272

David Cantrell writes "The Radio Shack Corporation (formerly the Tandy Corporation) headquarters in Fort Worth, TX was one of the only companies in the world to have its own private subway system. Its main purpose in life was to move employees from their parked cars to the office building. About a year or so ago, Radio Shack decided the subway system was no longer needed and they shut it down permanently. Well, they are now selling the subway cars on eBay. For $5000US, you can get your very own Radio Shack Subway Car. Rails sold separately. Click for the eBay auction page."
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Radio Shack Selling Subway Cars on eBay

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:01AM (#5936059)
    Are they going to insist I give them my phone number and try to sell me batteries with it?
    • That, a Tandy Service Plan, and a cell phone, yes. Although I noted that they do NOT accept RSVP (RadioShack credit card). :(

      (Sorry, I used to work for the company when I was in school, couldn't be helped. :)
    • Remember though that it is NOT required anymore, however they still ask.
      • It never was a requirement or at least on my part it wasn't. When they would ask me my reply ranged from "I dont' want to be on your mailing list" to a simple "No." While every now and then it would generate that deer in the headlights response most of the time they just simply type something in, I'm assuming they had numbers for that, and move on.

        The only real problem I had not giving out my number was when one new guy said it was require. I politly informed him this sale wasn't. His manager was lis

  • by lovebyte ( 81275 ) <> on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:02AM (#5936071) Homepage
    I am sorry to say that these so-called subway cars are fake. They are clean, with no graffiti. That is simply impossible.
    • If you remember the story not so long ago about the tandy kids kighting crime, I believe that nobody working at Tandy (aka Radio Shack) that would be so inclined o_O

    • Of course it's real. The vandals went blind looking at that red interior and couldn't find the walls to spraypaint on.
    • I realize you're joking, but all subways I've been on in Japan were clean and graffiti-free. (Bus stops weren't, though) It's not impossible. Even on a public system.

    • What bothers me is that these aren't subway cars, since as near as I can tell they don't go underground. Per Meriam Webster:
      Date: 1825 : an underground way: as a : a passage under a street (as for pedestrians, power cables, or water or gas mains) b : a usually electric underground railway c : UNDERPASS

      This is a Streetcar or a Tram.

  • Awww (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:04AM (#5936082) Homepage Journal
    Shipping Will not ship.

    What kind of service is this?
  • Does it use 8bit addressing and have green screens and is propietary too?

    Ebay, distrbutes everything from parts of discovery....and now subways.....only in america.

    Selling for 5000? seems like a small for a subway....surprising, usally radio shack sells over priced hardware...

    Maybe their subways are like their cheap you can make money of a cheap price
  • Do I (Score:4, Funny)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:05AM (#5936092)
    Need to order about 25000 AA bateries to power one of these babies ??

    Also does anyone know where I can get a good repetive recording of 'Mind the gap' so my dream to replicate a london subway station can finally become a reality.

      has a link to a Real Media sound file that has "Mind the gap" in a male voice. I've not been able to find a recording of the female voice that they used to use.

    • Also does anyone know where I can get a good repetive recording of 'Mind the gap' so my dream to replicate a london subway station can finally become a reality. To get the real feeling you'd have to get a couple hundred rats as well.
  • Black Mesa? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ArmenTanzarian ( 210418 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:05AM (#5936096) Homepage Journal
    Reminds me of the plot to Half Life... Are they selling a reactor that'll open a portal to some big headed lightning monster?
  • Subway care house (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Captain_Frisk ( 248297 ) <captain_frisk&bootless,org> on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:07AM (#5936107) Homepage
    I always thought it would be a cool project to convert a bunch of subway cars into a liveable house. I especially think it would look pretty snazzy in the middle of one of those pre-planned developments, with all the houses that look alike, and your subway car network right next to them.

    $5,000 seems like a reasonable price for such a thing. Assuming you'd need between 5 and 10 cars, thats not so expensive for building your own house.

    However, the logistics involved in transporting a 40,000 lb subway car would probably make such a project impossible.
    • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:13AM (#5936149)
      However, the logistics involved in transporting a 40,000 lb subway car would probably make such a project impossible.

      I think your neighbours would probably make it even more impossible by killing you as soon as they found out what your intentions would to do to their property valuations
      • better yet good luck getting the permits for it..
      • by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @01:41PM (#5937678)
        I think your neighbours would probably make it even more impossible by killing you as soon as they found out what your intentions would to do to their property valuations.

        My wife and I got swatted by our home owner's association for... (insert drum roll).. Parking in our driveway. It seems we're required to park in our garage unless the vehicle won't fit. Since then we've been looking for creative ways to piss off our neighbors while still following the rules. I have a rusty '91 van that I parked directly in front of the main offender's house in one of the approved parking spaces. Now they see it when they look our their window. I could get this train car and park it in my driveway. I'm certain that it won't fit in my garage.
        • >My wife and I got swatted by our home owner's

          You signed the paper, and that makes you ultimately responsible for the swatting. Shame on you for signing away your rights. Shame on you again for trying to place the blame on someone else. You signed it. You face the consequences.

          People will negotiate HARD for 1/10th point on their mortgage, but they won't even make a peep about the HOA. The contract is signed, the escrow money is in the title company account, and the only document you
        • My wife and I got swatted by our home owner's association for... (insert drum roll).. Parking in our driveway.

          This is why I would think twice before buying a house in an area with a HOA.

          I actually consider living in the city an advantage. As long as you follow the building codes and city ordinances you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want. Paint the house international orange with hot pink trim. Put your shitty rusted out car up on blocks in the driveway. Put a rock garden in for a front yard.
      • Thank God for community ordinances that prevent something like that.
    • Not only that, but for your kitchen you could also get a "Zurn Industries - Grease Trap - Never Used" [] also from Radio Shack. This is one stop shopping for your whole house complex! I never thought that Radio Shack would be *this* useful.
    • even better, you can follow tradition and turn one or two of these into a diner.
    • I've seen railroad cars converted to diners and small offices. The diners looked pretty cool, but the offices looked like crap. Like "Container Town" from that gawdawful "Highwayman" TV show.
  • Is this the one? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bartmoss ( 16109 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:07AM (#5936110) Homepage Journal
    I never heard of such a thing. I think this is the subway [] in question. Some pictures and a movie on that site. Pretty cool, but then again, nobody has yet bid on ebay which should tell ya something :)
    • Re:Is this the one? (Score:4, Informative)

      by bear_phillips ( 165929 ) * on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:17AM (#5936183) Homepage
      Yep that is it. Radio Shack (aka Tandy). Has a mal l with their corporate headquarters. Employees and mall shoppers could park in the subway lot which was a few blocks away and down a hill. They could then ride to the mall in an airconditioned subway car. Much better than walking up the hill on 110 degree Texas summer day.

      They recently sold the mall and coporate headquarters and are building a new headquarters a few miles away.

      • > They recently sold the mall and coporate
        > headquarters and are building a new headquarters a
        > few miles away.

        A few miles away? Try on top of what used to be the safest and best public housing project in the city, directly across the street.

        The city actually tried to sell the prime downtown real estate to Tandy without bothering to find everyone who lived in the subsidized low-income project alternative housing. They offered top of the waiting list, but a waiting list doesn't help when you'

    • Re:Is this the one? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mattsucks ( 541950 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:21PM (#5937105) Homepage
      [IAAFWR: I Am A Ft Worth Resident]

      The "subway" was hella-convenient getting into downtown at crowded times, hot or cold. It was free, it ran right into the heart of downtown, and the only two stops it made were in the basement of the Tandy Center building and in the remote parking lot. Seems like I recall it (the subway) held the record for the shortest subway line in the world when it was active. I doubt it was even a mile long, but sometimes that could be the longest mile.

      Lots of Ft Worth residents were sad to see it go. Progress, schmogress.
      • I was a Fort Worth resident until I moved to college. I really despise that city's mayor. They annexed the housing development that I lived in, dissolved the volunteer fire department, fired the police officers that we had, left us without a fire department or police within 30 miles of us for almost three months, raised taxes, illegalized fireworks, and did all sorts of other nasty things.

        Back to the topic, I also liked that trolley system. It can't really be called a subway because the vast majority of
  • Half-Life (Score:5, Funny)

    by termos ( 634980 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:08AM (#5936114) Homepage
    Radio Shack Corporation? This is not the secret name of Black Mesa is it?!
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <> on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:08AM (#5936116) Journal
    I like the nooses convienently placed above each seat, so if you have a sudden bout of realization that you work for Radio Shack, you can quickly put yourself out of your misery. That's a work-perk!
  • by barbazoo ( 604828 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:12AM (#5936146)
    ...on crappy old two-rail carts! Buy Monorail! "Well, sir, there's nothing on earth Like a genuine, Bona fide, Electrified, Six-car Monorail!"
  • Awwww. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:14AM (#5936159) Homepage Journal
    I used to ride that subway. The city library is right next to Tandy Towers. I'd park out in the extended lots and ride the Tandy subway into the library.
    Hate to see it go, but Fort Worth has grown up a lot in the last fifteen years. I guess they have better arrangements now. Anyone been there recently?
    • Yesterday in fact. There is a train that takes commuters to Dallas now. But no, there isn't a better arrangment from the parking lot to the Tandy Center. Of course as I mentioned in an earlier comment, its not so far that one couldn't simply walk :)
    • Re:Awwww. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by g1zmo ( 315166 )
      I was born and raised in Fort Worth, and I now go to UTA in Arlington. I remember as a kid going with my mom to park in the big lot on the river, and riding the car to the Tandy Center to go ice skating or to go to the library. Now that Sundance Square has grown up so much, and there are numerous public parking garages in the downtown area, remote parking isn't really necessary anymore. I guess the subway has outlived it's usefulness.
  • Urban Infiltration (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Schezar ( 249629 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:15AM (#5936165) Homepage Journal
    Can you say "Urban Infiltration?" Methinks I have a new target.

    For those of you who are unfamiliar, it's sort of a game: exploring places people are no longer meant to be. Old subways, abandoned factories, campus steam tunnels, etc.. Lots of fun, and certainly more exciting than.. say.. reading slashdot!

    A few links: []
    Zone Tour []
  • Howie, what are you doing in my house, and what are you staring at?
  • there was no hit counter.

    I wonder how much of E-bay's bandwidth is now devoted to that page? ;-)

    • Andale hosts the counters for most people. They are not eBay owned [at least not to my knowledge]. And they rarely work properly. Sometimes they reset themselves to 0.
      I had 18000 hits on an auction once, and then it managed to get back to 16000 a few weeks after being reset.
  • ...I get the feeling that someone left a ".com" off the name of the company involved with such a waste of money.
  • but 29,959 for the adapter, battery pack, and cleaning kit.

    It's their loss leader! Don't be fooled!

  • by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:21AM (#5936228) Homepage
    Here's a link I just turned up with a quick google search that has some pics and information about the subway itself. These will be nice tunnels to explore in a few years.
  • Fond memories... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ranger96 ( 452365 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:24AM (#5936241)
    I grew up riding the Tandy Center Subway (as it was called then). My dad and I would drive in to Fort Worth on Saturdays from the small suburb where we lived, and ride the subway into Tandy Center to go to the Fort Worth library. The main floor of the library was underground, and had an entrace from the Tandy Center mall.

    Tandy Center also had a pretty good arcade at the time (at least, by Fort Worth standards).

  • <quote> ... was one of the only ... </quote>

    Not to be a grammar nazi, but it was either the only or one of the few. It can't be in both states at once, unless subway cars are now in a state of quantum superposition, which, given their size, is doubtful.

  • Is it me? (Score:3, Funny)

    by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:41AM (#5936340) Homepage
    Is it just me, or does anyone else look at eBay auction pictures with a fear in the back of your mind that you will see the naked guy who took the picture reflected somewhere?

  • by ajlitt ( 19055 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:44AM (#5936365)
    ...we've got used subway cars.
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @10:48AM (#5936394)
    I just had this thought: imagine you bought 'private' subway cars like this, instead of regular automobiles?

    The city provides a large infrastructure of rails, and a sophisticated switching system. Citizens pony up for their own (much smaller) 'cars'; they can do whatever they like with the interior of these cars, etc. You register your 'car' and have it installed in the rail system. Make a request and the car goes to the closest station that you're looking for. You give up the convenience of having the 'car' make 100% of the trip between points (i.e. you walk to and from whichever station) but you don't have to drive.

    I know, I know... Minority Report. I just really liked the idea of intelligently switched rail traffic in-town, with more traditional free-roaming vehicles outside of urban areas. It makes so much sense.

    • by op00to ( 219949 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:21AM (#5936629)
      Transportation planners thought of this -- mainly in California. They call it "Personal Rapid Transit", and it takes all of the bad aspects of cars (traffic jams, wasted space, etc) and combines it with all the bad aspects of light rail (limited infrastructure, expensive) -- I am by no means advocating using a car, but personal rapid transit is a bad idea. It's much more cost effective to use larger cars and have established routes. The technology is there, and some towns even have trolley tracks buried underneath 2 feet of concrete, but it is just so wasteful and the benefits gained by having PRT (being able to go where you want to go, when you want to go there) can be found in light rail if a lot of time and planning goes into picking where stops go.
  • Historical? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kyoko21 ( 198413 )
    Shouldn't something like this belong in the Smithsonian or something? From the links offered on eBay, it has quite a history behind it.
  • by robo45h ( 660508 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:03AM (#5936480)
    If you read the eBay ad carefully -- and know a little about trains and streetcars -- it turns out this was more of a "subway surface streetcar" line than a pure subway. The car itself did not start out life as a subway car; it was an old "PCC" streetcar. Tandy remodeled it extensively in the '70s, basically bringing it down to the bare frame. Thus, any Trolly Museum that would be looking for a PCC will not get much by buying this other than a few spare parts and a frame. Perhaps some museum would want it as a novelty. If you want a good place to see some authentic PCC streetcars still in active service, visit San Francisco -- they purchased a bunch from Philadelphia for tourist attraction.
    • Museums eat this sort of thing up. It's an oddity, a rarity, something that they can put on a full-color brochure showing the breadth of their collection. If/when this does get to a museum, it'll probably become much like the Descanso Car [], an oddity with a great story behind it.
    • f you want a good place to see some authentic PCC streetcars still in active service, visit San Francisco -- they purchased a bunch from Philadelphia for tourist attraction.

      At the risk of being a real light rail geek, actually the San Francisco F-Line PCC cars come from all over, not just Philly. Take a look at the stock list [] which shows the origins of all the trolleys running in SF. The City by the Bay is indeed a great place to see vintage trolley cars from all over the US and the world, as well as mod
      • The PCC (President's Conference Committee) cars just keep going. Most durable streetcars ever built. Designed for the American Conference of Street Railway Presidents to compete with buses, the PCC cars became the standard streetcar in most of North America.

        Nobody wanted the newer Boeing Vertol cars when San Francisco finally junked them. Some museum in Germany that collects one of each streetcar type got one, and the others were scrapped.

    • PCCs also in Boston (Score:2, Informative)

      by awkwardone ( 77785 )
      The PCC cars are still in service on part of the Boston mass transit system. There is a short (two miles long) streetcar line on the southern portion of the Red Line. After the normal heavy rail subway ends at Ashmont, you can board a PCC to travel to Mattapan. From what I understand they haven't really been renovated since World War II. Eventually the MBTA is supposed to update the line, but the way things go in Boston, that could be years from now...
      • From what I understand they haven't really been renovated since World War II.

        Not exactly. They have been renovated over the past few years, and repained with the orange MTA paint scheme. Some remodeling has occurred, and the electric system has been rebuilt. The cars that are there now were in use on the mainline Green Line for the most part (mainly the E line before they closed it in '85). Most were rebuilt in the '60s and '70s, but their outside apperance was kept the same.

    • If you want a good place to see some authentic PCC streetcars still in active service, visit San Francisco -- they purchased a bunch from Philadelphia for tourist attraction.

      Or, better yet, come to Boston and ride the Mattapan High Speed Line. Down at the end of the Ashmont Branch of the red line, there's a 2 mile line that uses PCC cars. These are all Wartime (WWII) PCC cars from the Green Line. Some have received renovations over the past few years, and have been repainted to the orange colors of the

    • The F-Market streetcar line in San Francisco is a little more complicated than that.

      First off, the F-Market and Wharves line features many different classes of vintage vehicles, not just PCC streetcars. Also included in regular service are wooden streetcars from Milan, designed by Peter Witt. Also, on weekends and special holidays, the Municipal Railway runs other cars like the Liverpool Boat (an open car that came from Liverpool, England), MUNI's Car # 2 (the oldest operating electric streetcar in the w
  • shipping (Score:2, Funny)

    by loomis ( 141922 )
    "Car weighs approximately 40,000 lbs"

    "Winning Bidder is responsible for all shipping costs [. . .]"

    Hee hee. Wonder if I could ship it Priority mail for $4.85?

  • Not doing so wel... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by duncf ( 628065 )
    # of bids 0

    Apparently Radio Shack hasn't done very good market research on this one. I mean really who's seriously going to bid for a 40,000 pound piece of junk that they won't be able to move.

    Anybody know how much it costs to ship a 40,000 pound peice of junk?
  • Can I interest you in a RadioShack Service Plan? It will protect your subway car for up to three years! No? Well, I can save you $400 dollars on your purchase, if you're so inclined. All we ask is that you sign up for three years of MSN Internet...

    No? Well, would you be interested in a cell pho... yes, I see you have one. How do you like the service. Just fine, huh? Well, we've got some great deals on cellular phones and...

    Sir! Sir! You left your subway car!

    (I used to work at RadioShack. Ick.)
  • Tough choice (Score:2, Interesting)

    In this modern world, $5000 buys you either a second-hand subway [] or a DIY cruise missile [].

    Hmm.... tough choice.

  • by pmz ( 462998 )
    I bet they'll carge $7,000 for the power adapter.
  • like BART? (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <spam&pbp,net> on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:15PM (#5937051)
    "Remodeled in 1974 by RadioShack/Tandy Corporation to pattern design after Bay Area Rapid Transit vehicles operating in the San Francisco Bay area."

    Those things look nothing like the BART cars. First off, BART trains are 3-10 cars, and you can move between cars if you like, and only a couple seats are back against the wall (near the doors, for seniors & disabled folks)

    And BART knew better than to use that ungodly red color. What is it with companies in Texas using awful paint schemes? Southwest Airlines is next on the list.. "Hey, we got a bunch of this brownish paint.. really cheap!" ;)
  • by looseBits ( 556537 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:19PM (#5937080)
    My father used to work for Tandy at that office in the early 80's as a system programmer on the Tandem until he had a stroke. I remember riding those subways to his office when I was a little kid and he would show me around the data processing center. We also used to go ice skating at the Tandy Center and my sister and I would love riding on those little subways. For me, this is an era gone by.

    Now I am a programmer myself and it gives me a great deal of pride to be a chip off the old block.
  • About a year or so ago, Radio Shack decided the subway system was no longer needed

    Why? Did all of their employees' feet suddenly mutate into wheels?

  • The Lathe of Heaven (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ann Elk ( 668880 )
    The Tandy Subway (and other areas around the Tandy headquarters) are featured in the movie "The Lathe of Heaven", based on Ursula le Guin's book of the same title. Buy a car, and own a piece of sci-fi history...
  • ...these things are too expensive and of substandard quality.
  • by sunhou ( 238795 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @01:32PM (#5937630)
    I bet this guy [] and this guy [] (builders of monorail and roller coaster in their backyards, respectively) are drooling over this auction, and their neighbors are thinking "please god, no".
  • If IBM decides to sell off some lawnmowers they used to use to trim the grounds around their HQ, will that be "news for nerds, stuff that matters" as well?

    I don't know what's worse...this story being on slashdot, or me wasting 2 precious minutes of my lunch hour posting a reply to it.
  • For all the hippy Trailer Trashers,
    who needs trailers now? []

    Trash with some style, get yourself a 40,000 lbs.
    Vintage M&O Subway Train Car for only $5000! []

  • Do you think i could use this for the train set i set up under my tree at christmas?.....or it could be set up under the tree at rockefeller center....I would go broke buying battries .I wonder if they still give out those battery cards?
  • by Mooset ( 9986 ) on Monday May 12, 2003 @04:46PM (#5939339)
    Last August during the final days of subway operation I managed to make it down there and snap a bunch of pictures [] including some of their shop facilities if anyone is interested.

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