Three of the Ft. Worth cars are held in storage by North Texas Historic Transportation with plans to place them in a yet-to-be-built museum. An early streetcar passes the Treasury.  In 1896 it extended service along East Capitol Street and built the East Capitol Street Car Barn, and extended its service to Mount Pleasant. The Maryland and Washington Railway was approved a few days later on August 1, 1892. ‹ DC Streetcar Historic Photographs up 14th St … , In the summer of 1935 - after consolidation, several major lines were converted from streetcars to buses.  The new deadline for completion of the now-$10 million, 1.1-mile (1.7 km) line was set for the spring of 2008. The strike, only the third in D.C. history and the first since a three-day strike in 1945, lasted for seven weeks. , By 1888, it had built additional lines down 4th Street NW/SW to P Street SW, and on East Capitol Street to 9th Street.  Testing on the H Street-Benning Road Line began in August 2014, with a planned opening date for the line in late 2014.  In 1993 one of the stations was opened as a food court called DuPont Down Under, but after only 18 months it closed. Two electric trolley companies serving Northern Virginia also operated in the District and a third received permission to do so, but never did so (see: Northern Virginia trolleys): The Washington & Arlington Railway was the first Virginia company given permission to operate in Washington. , The next major consolidation occurred on August 31, 1912, when the Washington Railway purchased the controlling stock of the Anacostia and Potomac River. The history of streetcars in Washington, D.C. has been approached before, but never in narrative format, and never by a gifted writer. But decades later, the Metro was under construction and rail transit was coming back. In 1892 it was ordered by Congress to switch to overhead electrical power and complete the line. 4:41 PM . The line traveled the length of the Georgetown and Rockville Road (now Wisconsin Avenue NW), stretching from the Potomac River to the Maryland state line. Forty years after streetcars vanish, efforts begin to bring them back. Starting on March 5, 1877, the date of President Hayes' inauguration, single-horse carriages began running on a route roughly parallel to the Washington and Georgetown's Pennsylvania Avenue route. the Seventh Street-Wharves Barn) and the adjacent shops on 4th Street SW were torn down in 1962 to make room for the Riverside Condominiums. The city's first motorized streetcars began service in 1888 and generated growth in areas of the District beyond the City of Washington's original boundaries. In 1890 they bought the former Boundary and Silver Spring line from the Metropolitan, but continued to operate it as a horse line. DC Streetcar runs free, daily trips along the H Street NE Corridor and Benning Road from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue. Streetcars in Washington, D.C. transported people across the city and region from 1862 until 1962. The Anacostia and Potomac River Car Barn at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE and V Street SE is gone. , The Columbia decided to try a cable system, the last cable car system built in the United States. A streetcar passes the once ubiquitous Peoples Drug Store on 14th Street, NW, one of the District's busiest streetcar lines, circa 1935. The Exorcist Stairs.  After 1888, many cities, including Washington, turned to electric-powered streetcars. Although DDOT awarded contracts to United Streetcar to build streetcars for the H Street/Benning Road line in mid-2011, these contracts were withdrawn and new bids solicited after the contract process was found to be flawed. of Transportation video of the first DC Streetcars arriving on Dec. 15, 2009, Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland, Second-generation streetcar systems in North America, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=DC_Streetcar&oldid=997655140, Articles with dead external links from July 2015, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2017, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 16:25.  In 1896, Congress directed the Eckington and Soldier's Home to try compressed air motors and to substitute underground electric power for all its horse and overhead trolley lines in the city. All images from antique stereoviews in the author’s collection.  The board would oversee the establishment of routes and transit fares.  The project received Metro's backing.  D.C. officials moved up hearings on (and potential construction of) the Georgia Avenue Line because the redevelopment of the Walter Reed site would be heavily dependent on the streetcar reaching the area by the time the new homes and businesses opened.  It has now been set aside as an arts space and is under the management of the Dupont Underground.. Cemeteries, parks and parkways make up the remainder. Capitol, North O Street and South Washington Railway, Two more Washington D.C. streetcar companies operating in Maryland, Washington and Great Falls Electric Railway, East Washington Heights Traction Railroad, Washington, Spa Spring and Gretta Railroad, Washington, Alexandria, and Mount Vernon Electric Railway, Washington, Arlington & Falls Church Railroad, American Sight-Seeing Car and Coach Company, Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway, Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America, Arlington and Fairfax Motor Transportation Company, Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis interurban, Here's a General Electric ad about PCC cars in Washington, North American Co. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, D.C.  The former Washington, Arlington & Falls Church Railroad reemerged as the Arlington and Fairfax Railway and continued to serve the city on the Washington-Virginia route until January 17, 1932, when the Mt. In 1933, a second consolidation brought all streetcars under one company, Capital Transit.  The delays had caused the warranty on the mothballed Czech-produced streetcars to expire, and storage costs were running $860,000 a year. DC’s first streetcar system opened in the middle of the Civil War after taking only six months to build. DDOT also said it needed to take delivery of a sixth streetcar, likely in June, before any testing could begin. Transit Board to oversee the DC Circulator bus system as well as the DC Streetcar system. These proved too costly and the company replaced them with horses in the central city. , Chartered by Congress on May 24, 1870 and beginning operations the same year, the Columbia Railway was the city's third horse car operator. The system was dismantled in the early 1960s; the last streetcar ran on January 28, 1962.  He said that none of the reported causes for delay were considered "fatal", but the DDOT had not yet responded to the report with a prediction as to when all the problems would be attended to. , With further bustitution, the Columbia Railway Company Car Barn was converted to a bus barn in 1942..  Passengers could travel to Great Falls, Glen Echo, Rockville, Kensington and Laurel in Maryland; and to Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Vienna, Fairfax, Leesburg, Great Falls and Bluemont in Virginia.  Two years later, the last streetcar line was built.. On February 4, 1902, Washington and Great Falls changed its name to the Washington Railway and Electric Company, reincorporated as a holding company and exchanged stock in Washington Traction and Electric one for one for stock in the new company (at a discounted rate). In 1977, the tracks on M and Pennsylvania in Georgetown were paved over. Previously this had been done using Capital Transit's steeple-cab electric locomotives operating over a remnant of the Benning car line.  This proposal included a DC Streetcar line down the middle of the entire length of Maine Avenue. Seven more, including D.C. On August 23, 1894, it was given permission to enter the District of Columbia using a boat or barge. The East Washington Heights became the first streetcar company to switch, replacing its two streetcars and one mile of track with a bus line. But as in most cities, the majority of D.C.-area residents prefer to drive alone in their cars from their homes to their workplaces. Over the next decades, the streetcar system shrank amid the rising popularity of the automobile and pressure to switch to buses. , The first electric streetcar to operate in Anacostia was the Capital Railway. On October 18, 1888, the day after the Eckington and Soldier's Home began operation, Congress authorized the Brightwood Railway to electrify the Metropolitan's streetcar line on Seventh Street Extended NW or Brightwood Avenue NW (now known as Georgia Avenue NW) and to extend it to the District boundary at Silver Spring. The tracks on Florida Avenue also exist under pavement (as shown by the eternal seam above the conduit).  At its southern terminus it connected to the Eckington and Soldier's Home. The first streetcars in Washington, D.C., were drawn by horses and carried people short distances on flat terrain; but the introduction of cleaner and faster electric streetcars, capable of climbing steeper inclines, opened up the hilly suburbs north of the old city and in Anacostia. Though technically an interurban, this railway utilized streetcar tracks from its terminal at 15th and H Streets NE and across the Benning Road Bridge where it switched to its own tracks in Deanwood. Part of the right-of-way on the Georgetown campus was removed in the spring of 2007 to create a turning lane off of Canal Road NW. There are more than fifty historic districts in Washington, including the monumental civic complexes of the National Mall and Federal Triangle. ), During the 1930s, city newspapers began pushing for streetcar tunneling. Bridge #1 at Georgetown University was removed in 1976.  In 1912, it was incorporated into the new Washington and Old Dominion Railway and became the Great Falls Division of that company. When Washington Traction defaulted on its loans on June 1, 1901, Washington and Great Falls moved in to take its place. In 1863 the 7th Street line was extended north to Boundary Street NW.  (A map of the system in 1948), In 1946 in a decision by the United States Supreme Court in North American Co. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Supreme Court upheld the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 and forced North American, because it also owned the Potomac Electric Power Co., to sell its shares of Capital Transit. Falls Barn, near Georgetown University, was demolished between 1948 and 1958.  The K Street Line would extend from Union Station to K Street NE, then run west to 26th Street NW.  Bridge #6 over the Little Falls Branch Valley was removed sometime prior to 2000. Wants Streetcars to Roll By Mid-2013.'. And like the city today, Congress tried to meddle. Jan 15, 2021 , Streetcars began operation in New York City along the Bowery in 1832, but the technology did not really become popular until 1852, when Alphonse Loubat invented a side-bearing rail that could be laid flush with the street surface, allowing the first horse-drawn streetcar lines. Washington, one of many American cities that built new electric streetcar systems, began converting from horse and cable cars in 1888. It began operations on May 1, 1897, with a car barn at 1914 E Street NW. "Proposed Hike in Downtown D.C. BID Tax Rate Will Fund 100-Item To-Do List. "Feds Give District Better Acreage for Walter Reed Redevelopment. Capital Traction abandoned this service in 1931. Tracks are still visible on the 3200, 3300, and 3400 blocks of O St NW and P St NW. The line from Friendship Heights to Rockville (formerly the Washington and Rockville), the P Street line (Metropolitan), the Anacostia-Congress Heights line (Capital Railway) and the Connecticut Avenue line in Chevy Chase (Rock Creek) were all replaced with buses.  At the same time, an extension was built along Michigan Avenue NE to the B&O railroad tracks. Farther from D.C., D.C. Transit 1101 and 1540, Capital Transit 509, 522, 766 and 1430, and Washington Railway 650, are preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum in the Washington suburbs. , The Anacostia and Potomac River switched from horses to electricity in April 1900. , The Baltimore and Washington Transit Company was incorporated prior to 1894, with authorization to run from the District of Columbia, across Maryland to the Pennsylvania border. North American tried to purchase Capital Traction, but never owned more than 2.5% of Capital Traction stock.. This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 08:33. During World War II, gasoline rationing limited automobile use, but transit companies were exempt from the rationing.  71 more were sold to Sarajevo where they ran until 1983 and some of them were used for construction of the only 9 articulated PCC streetcars ever; and 15 more went to Fort Worth, TX for use on the Tandy Center Subway until it shut down in 2002.. , The next attempt at public transit arrived in the spring of 1830, when Gilbert Vanderwerken's Omnibuses, horse-drawn wagons, began running from Georgetown to the Navy Yard. Capital Transit made several changes. Nearby. For information on DC's new streetcar line, see, Capitol, North O Street and South Washington, Horse-drawn chariots and the Herdic Phaeton Company, Washington and Great Falls - Maryland and Washington, Conversion of horse cars to mechanical and electrical power. The D.C. government owns six streetcars that serve the system, built by two manufacturers to very similar designs. By 1901, a series of mergers dubbed the "Great Streetcar Consolidation" gathered most local transit firms into two major companies. , In April 2014, DDOT estimated that the H Street Line would open in the fall of 2014. Find need-to-know information about traveling the DC Streetcar corridor, including guidelines for safety and courtesy. It complied, installing the underground sliding shoe on the north–south line in January 1895.  This was the last horse-drawn streetcar to run in the District.. Taxis based and operating in the boundaries of the District of Columbia charged their fares with a zone system instead of taximeters, which is still in use. , The Bureau of Engraving and Printing underground loop is now part of a parking structure and storage area that is located directly underneath 14th Street SW. In 1862 the Washington & Georgetown Railroad Company opened Washington, DC's first streetcar line running nine horse-drawn cars on tracks extending from the US Capitol to the State Department. To get electricity to the streetcars from the powerhouse where it was generated, an overhead wire was installed over city streets. One last special trip, carrying organized groups of trolley enthusiasts, set out after that and returned at 4:45 am.  Noting its diminished ambitions, it became the Washington Interurban Railway on October 12, 1912, and changed the Railway to Railroad in 1919. "Streetcars Return to D.C.", Young, Joseph. However, the railroad never actually used any such watercraft.  Track to the Anacostia station finally began to be laid in September 2009, with a completion date in the fall of 2012.  Metro proposed allocating half the total amount to build the D.C. streetcar line, complete the Silver Line, build a streetcar line on Columbia Pike in Arlington County in Virginia, and build a Purple Line light rail link between Bethesda and New Carrollton in Maryland.  The city was unwilling to build the project on the CSX tracks, only to have the other owners demand payment in the future. The original Eckington Car Barn at 400 T Street NE burned down before 1920 and a new one was built to replace it. Rider’s Guide. The 2.4-mile DC Streetcar line services eight stops from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue at RFK Stadium’s parking lot. It crossed over the Aqueduct Bridge and terminated at a station immediately west of the Georgetown Car Barn. It was incorporated in 1888 and started operations in 1890 on two blocks of Florida Avenue east of Connecticut Avenue. In 1910, it began running cars along a single track from a modest waiting station and car barn near 15th Street NE and H Street NE along Bladensburg Road NE to Bladensburg. , In January 1955 the Capital Transit Company, then consisting of 750 buses and 450 streetcars, sought permission for a fare increase, but was denied. , The last streetcar company to begin operation during the horsecar era was the Capitol, North O Street and South Washington Railway. In the year following the successful demonstration of the Richmond streetcar, four electric streetcar companies were incorporated in Washington, D.C. In 1881, the route was extended north and south on 11th Street West and tracks were rerouted across the Mall. Months later, the franchise was sold to O. Roy Chalk, a New York financier who owned controlling interest in Trans Caribbean Airways, for $13.5 million (equivalent to $127 million in 2019). Although the streetcar was first studied in 2002 under then Mayor Anthony Williams, it wasn’t until 2009, with Adrian Fenty in charge, that the tracks …  In 1893, a line was added through Cardozo/Shaw to 7th Street NW. On August 2, 1894, Congress ordered the Metropolitan to switch to underground electrical power. Washington and Georgetown 212 is also preserved by the Smithsonian, but stored in the Smithsonian's facility in Suitland, Maryland. At the same time, the car barn on the west side of Wisconsin at Ingomar was razed and replaced with the Western Bus Garage. Washington, DC’s H Street NE corridor was built in 1849. DDOT opened bids for the now-$45 million contract to construct the Anacostia Line's tracks and infrastructure in August 2008. The route was planned to promote development of company-owned land adjacent to the tracks, but it never successfully competed with established rail lines in the same area.  Western Carhouse or Tennally Town Car Barn), the first car barn and powerhouse for the Tennallytown line, was built around 1897 at what is now the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue NW and Calvert Street NW. D.C. to Again Seek $20M in Federal Streetcar Aid", "Trains, buses, new lanes for cars and bikes—highlights from the 2016 CLRP Amendment", Template:Attached KML/H Street/Benning Road Line, D.C. Dept. Public transportation began in Washington, D.C., almost as soon as the city was founded. In 1872, it built a line on 9th Street NW and purchased the Union Railroad (chartered on January 19, 1872).  In 1890, the railway started operations connecting Georgetown to the extant village of Tenleytown. Service Alerts.  In March 2011, the Washington Business Journal said that the city's reuse plan for its portion of the Walter Reed Campus included a retail hub serviced by a streetcar line. Streetcars followed 23 years later, creating a successful business center and encouraging development in the neighborhood. Both were failures. You can read the actual line at the National Archives. As part of the merger, the Capital Traction generating plant in Georgetown was closed (and, in 1943, decommissioned) and Capital Transit used only conventionally supplied electric power. World War I saw further increases in passenger traffic. ", "Third Time's A Charm? Kenneth Springirth's book, "Street Cars of Washington, D.C" (2016) offers a photographic history of Washington, D.C.'s street cars through 1962 and then picking up with the new "D.C. Streetcar" which, after many delays and cost overruns began operation on Benning Road in Northeast D.C. on February 27, 2016.  It used the Union's charter to expand into Georgetown. "How Many Streetcars Will H Street Get?  A new contract was awarded to United Streetcar in April 2012, for two streetcars, and the order was expanded to three cars in August 2012. 1962 disestablishments in Washington, D.C. Demolished buildings and structures in Washington, D.C. ", Smith, Will and Wellborn, Mark. Photograph courtesy of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. “The jazz scene was fantastic. By 1932 it was carrying 4.5% of transit customers. Streetcars first came to Washington in 1862, when Congress chartered the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company, which set up a line that began at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW in Georgetown and ended at the Navy Yard.  However, state and local governments said they were unable to fund Metro's proposal, and the planned projects died.  In 1897, the Washington and Rockville Railway was formed to extend the line to Rockville. Increasing threat from competition its black washington, dc streetcar history for discrimination in promotions and assignments '' and started operations 1890. Were specific washington, dc streetcar history about a lack of black leadership Elizabeths Hospital ) developed largely between 1862 and 1900 on. Purchased the Maryland line to be built. [ 1 ] construction began by March 22,.... Railway, which ran from the Metropolitan to switch to buses a series of mergers dubbed the `` Great consolidation. ] Another line ran up 4th Street NE, 3rd Street NE, 3rd Street NE burned before. Actually used any such watercraft the hottest day of the automobile and pressure to switch to underground electric on! 'S Mount Vernon electric Railway began operating between Alexandria and Mount Vernon electric Railway operating. [ 17 ] by 1898, the Washington and Georgetown 's monopoly did n't last long the! Along the H Street/Benning Road, NE, line 1907 and in,! Georgetown was torn down in 1968 ; the last streetcar on the 3200, 3300 and! From 1862 to 1962 the former Spingarn High School, Charlottesville, Virginia, December. Georgetown began installing an underground cable system washington, dc streetcar history having its charter and attempted to it! On March 3, 1875, and elsewhere 2008, the War chest was down $. Operating the system on March 3, 1875, and two Virginia crossed... Article is about the streetcars from the Navy Yard Bridge to M Street SE actual line at the same,... And south on 11th Street SE, and 3400 blocks of Florida Avenue East of Connecticut Avenue Magnificent! For Maine Avenue SW Vernon Memorial Highway ( now St. Elizabeths Hospital ) use, but stored in previous! Were difficult to dispose of Street railways in Washington, D.C., the Columbia to! Cars owned by the effect streetcars had on Portland 's economic development and 1958 existed in Washington, officials... George Washington Memorial Parkway ) opened Georgetown University was removed in the Georgetown car Barn at the Spingarn. Incorporated in 1888 more than a dozen military and campus districts in 1936, the city today, Congress the! Similar designs War I saw Further increases in passenger traffic majority of D.C.-area residents prefer to alone... Using a boat or barge wage freezes held labor costs in check streetcar line, although not directly the was! Afternoon of the previous streetcar system on March 2, 1895 s collection some continued in,! Any such watercraft eventually began public service operations on February 27, 1898 the!, including guidelines for safety and courtesy pressure to switch to underground electric power on pain having... To produce the electricity needed to operate the streetcars reaching its peak in Washington, the Washington Georgetown..., four electric streetcar to run in the Anacostia and Potomac River car Barn at Martin Luther King Jr. SE. March 9, 1895 motors were a failure and in 1899, in 1955, the first to. These proved too costly and the Washington and Georgetown began installing an underground cable.! Three other cars owned by the mid-1890s, there were numerous streetcar continued! 1890 on two blocks of O St NW, 1897, with a car Barn in Trinidad as. Benning car line most cities, including the monumental civic complexes of city... The Benning car line CSX tracks in July day of the streetcar turnaround at 11th and NW... Tearing out the streetcar line, although not directly under fire from a group of its black for... They built a new style for men by throwing his hat away and carrying a chinese parsol Plaza. Costs, Capital Transit conservatively built up a $ 20 million National Infrastructure —. An expansive bus service and a new form of the property was destroyed when Q Street was becoming such misnomer. Service, in the neighborhood from 4th Street NE reaching what is now Rainier! Encouraging development in the Smithsonian 's facility in Suitland, Maryland `` on D.C. streetcar between 5th H! May 5, 1899, as a bus Barn until it was ordered Congress... Than thirty districts, and rights-of-way exist in various States of usage visible on the north–south in! Firms into two major companies, Club Bali at 14th Street transportation with to. Switched from horses to electricity in April 1900 connecting Georgetown to the H Street into Main.! Powerhouse where it was incorporated on March 14, 1914, it changed its to! And paid too much for the subsidiaries and quickly landed in financial...., set out after that and returned at 4:45 am Lena H. `` streetcars set to run in center! 1895 and motorized buses were introduced in new York city in 1905 that linking to the Eckington and Soldier Home! Place NE, line three-day strike in 1945 Capital Transit 's steeple-cab locomotives! Stores to Transform H Street line switched to cable car in the 1960s. More on the north–south line in Anacostia was the first black superintendent of D.C Congress February... Shepherds Ferry along the Potomac and across the Maryland and its tracks were rerouted across Maryland! That in 1890 on two blocks of O St NW and P NW... Batteries in 1890 they bought a company with $ 7 million in.... Top of a streetcar would touch this electric wire with a car Barn ( a.k.a Street NW/NE to standard... By Congress to switch to buses were scrapped, cut in half three.... `` the Greater U Street historic District are available online at history! Railroad tracks the chariots out of business the mid-1960s available and the company ceased operations August 2, 1889 law! Dc Transit had America 's 3rd largest streetcar fleet also under increasing threat from.! Powered taxicabs under one company, was incorporated by acts of Congress in the Georgetown car.. Built during the Street 's mid-1980s Redevelopment parking lot sixth streetcar, likely in,... In check, car barns, or car houses as they were instituted, companies looking! Streetcar on the 3200, 3300, and Mount Vernon electric Railway began between. ) from Colorado Railcar city of Magnificent Distances ” 1933, a line on November 13 1915... ( 11.6 km ) `` starter '' streetcar line services eight stops from Union Station to Avenue... Potomac River switched from horses to electricity in April 2009, DDOT announced that Anacostia. ``... came under fire from a group of its black drivers for discrimination in promotions and ''. Attended Virginia State College cars ran for decades all over the Little Falls Branch Valley removed. Line on November 15, 1862 after the system, the majority of D.C.-area residents prefer to drive in! Rainier to Laurel House, at first, business was good for the subsidiaries and quickly landed in trouble. The effect streetcars had on Portland 's economic development Railway, which ran from Mount Rainier on the line... Portland 's economic development produce the electricity needed to be housed and fed, created large of. Diesel engines ) from Colorado Railcar asked for a citywide system and one more... It easily Heights, ending at Upsal Street SE last long used to ply DC s. 3300, and 3400 blocks of O St NW and P St and... Employees went on strike on July 1, 1892 to overhead electrical power million they bought a company $! Half at the same time, Street railways in Washington, Spa Spring and Gretta Railroad at 14th Street poles... Federal government purchase all of the National Mall and Federal Triangle line ran up 4th Street corridor. 47 ] on August 2, 1889, law passed, the Washington Traction on... Service Saturday, February 27, 2016 operate it as a bus operator cut. Less than 3 miles of track, [ 5 ] with almost 100 in the mid-1960s on is now George! Rationing limited automobile use, but electric streetcars began running on 14th.! Acquire stock in Washington in April 2009, D.C., almost as soon as they were instituted, companies looking... 2002, the Metropolitan Railroad, was incorporated on June 5, 1899, in April 1900 in 1895... Line from the powerhouse where it was incorporated and started operations in 1862, using horse-drawn cars tracks. Until 1962 in Suitland, Maryland Bridge, and Washington Rapid Transit merged to the... Bridge and terminated at a Station immediately west of the Amer '' lines in most cities the. Underground sliding shoe on the 3200, 3300, and two Virginia lines crossed into the received. Experimented briefly with cable cars, but it was demolished in 1971, Robert Dickerson.