Collin County Railroads
The first railroad came to Collin County in 1872. This was the Houston & Texas Central that came up from Houston and continued to the Red River. The towns of Richardson and Plano picked up and moved to the tracks. Plano was originally in the northeast part of Collin County (see 1855 map below) and moved many miles to where it is today.
(1855 Texas map showing major roads before the railroads came.)
The town was Allen was created by the railroad as a watering station. The line went through McKinney. The towns of Melissa, Anna, and Van Alstyne were created by the railroad. Parts of the tracks are still in use. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit will use these tracks to Plano.
The next railroad was the East Line and Red River, also known as the Sherman, Shreveport, and Southern. It reached McKinney in 1886. It went from Jefferson to McKinney, through Farmersville and Lowry Crossing, and created the town of Princeton. It was discontinued in the 1941. The tracks east of Farmersville are still in use.
The Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe came to Collin County in 1886-87. It entered the county at Wylie, going through Clear Lake and Copeville, and exited at Farmersville. It created the town of Sachse. The town of Nickelville moved to the tracks and changed its name to Wylie. It is still in use.
The St. Louis Southwestern, better known as the Cotton Belt, came through the county in 1886-87. The towns of Renner, Murphy, and Josephine were created by it. Nevada moved to the tracks. It went through Renner, Plano, Murphy, Wylie, Lavon, Nevada and Josephine. The tracks east of Wylie have been removed. The Kansas City Southern is building a rail yard and shipping hub in Wylie along this line.
The St. Louis San Francisco & Texas, called the Frisco, came through Collin County in 1902, creating the towns of Prosper and Frisco. Celina moved to the tracks. It is still in use.
The Greenville Northwestern was part of the Greenville-Whitewright Northern Traction Company. It was supposed to go from Greenville to Gainesville. The section from Anna to Blue Ridge, going through Westminster, was all that was constructed. It opened in 1914 and was discontinued in 1920.