[24] The Washington Interurban switched next and its tracks were removed when Bladensburg Road was repaved. [55], The remaining system, including lines to the Navy Yard, the Colorado Avenue terminal, and the Bureau of Engraving (Routes 50, 54) and to the Calvert Street Loop, Barney Circle, and Union Station (Routes 90, 92) was shut down in January 1962. [1][32] This was the last horse-drawn streetcar to run in the District.[1]. The company built a car barn and stable on the east side of 15th Street just south of H Street at the eastern end of the line. Since you're interested in the history of Washington, D.C., here are some ideas to get you started: Grand Avenues: The Story of Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C. North American tried to purchase Capital Traction, but never owned more than 2.5% of Capital Traction stock.[30]. [27][28] The second set of streetcars, initially numbered 13-001 through 13-003 (subsequently renumbered 201–203), were built in the U.S. in 2013 by United Streetcar,[26] of Oregon, based on a Skoda design (model Skoda 10T) that was originally developed jointly by Inekon and Skoda, and the shared design history explains the similarity between the two designs. "Streetcars Set to Run Again in the District. DDOT applied for a $20 million National Infrastructure Investments — Consolidated Appropriations Act grant to assist it in building the extension. [9], The Columbia decided to try a cable system, the last cable car system built in the United States. This page was last edited on 14 December 2020, at 08:33. [1], Using electricity from the power plant built to power its cable operation, the Columbia won permission in 1898 to build a line east along Benning Road NE, splitting on the east side of the Anacostia. The rest of the system switched to cable by August 18, 1892. [54] In the previous summer of 1970 D.C. Early on the morning of Sunday, January 28, 1962, preceded by cars 1101 and 1053, car 766 entered the Navy Yard Car Barn for the last time, and Washington's streetcars became history. It ran horse-drawn streetcars along Pennsylvania Avenue, and was an instant hit. [55][56] CSX disputed these claims, saying that it had the legal right to lease the tracks and land in perpetuity to the city for $16 million. [17] The first line to be built would be a 7.2-mile (11.6 km) "starter" streetcar line in Anacostia. It opened lines from the Capitol to the War Department along H Street NW. 650: The Long Road Home", Articles about street cars in Washington, DC, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Streetcars_in_Washington,_D.C.&oldid=994146066. [91] In 1980 and 1981, the three other bridges along the right-of-way - Bridge #3 at Clark Place, Bridge #4 next to Reservoir Road, and Bridge #5 over Maddox Branch in Battery Kemble Park - were removed during the construction of the water main. Two days after the groundbreaking, CSX announced it would abandon the railway track but refuse to allow the city to use it for the streetcar project. [61] In 2014, DDOT said it was planning to spend $64 million to begin construction on the Anacostia Line Extension from the Anacostia Metro station to the 11th Street Bridges. [19] 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 last streetcar on the Anacostia-Congress Heights line ran on July 16, 1935. [10], Ground was broken for the Anacostia Line on November 13, 2004. 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. [6][60], On August 26, 2010, DDOT officials ordered construction of the Anacostia Line shut down after city officials refused to extend the construction contract or give a new contract to another firm. The history of streetcars in Washington, D.C. has been approached before, but never in narrative format, and never by a gifted writer. It was to run from Shepherds Ferry along the Potomac and across the Navy Yard Bridge to M Street SE. Find need-to-know information about traveling the DC Streetcar corridor, including guidelines for safety and courtesy. [64], In January 2010, The Washington Post reported that the K Street Line would probably be the third line to be constructed. ", "Third Time's A Charm? 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. The City and Suburban and the Georgetown and Tennallytown operated as subsidiaries of Washington Railway until October 31, 1926, when it purchased the remainder of their stock. In 1860, these two merged under the control of Vanderwerken and continued to operate until they were run out of business by the next new technology: streetcars. Washington, D.C. - Washington, D.C. - City layout: Washington’s visionary planner was Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a French army engineer who fought in the American Revolution. 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. Historic Photos of Washington D.C. [66] It is included in the Constrained Long-Range Transportation Plan. ", Kahn, Michael W. "Streetcars Returning to D.C. in Updated Form. [1], The East Washington Heights Traction Railroad was incorporated on June 18, 1898. [45] After more delays, the line had been tentatively projected to open in January 2015,[46] but on January 16 the DDOT's director Leif Dormsjo announced that the Department would no longer issue any estimates for an opening date and that he intended to reorganize the project's management team. Washington DC, District of Columbia 13,370 contributions 595 helpful votes Great way to connect This street car line is the first street car to open after the original line was closed in 1962. 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. [55][56] Subsequently, DDOT announced that the streetcars would run on city streets instead of heavy railroad track, angering local residents who said the streetcars would worsen traffic congestion, eliminate parking, and reduce bus service. [42] (Here's a General Electric ad about PCC cars in Washington. They built a new cable car barn and began operating the system on March 9, 1895. With increased revenue and steady costs, Capital Transit conservatively built up a $7 million cash reserve. [45], When electric streetcars began, several lines also delivered freight on rail cars running on their lines. [59] The delays had caused the warranty on the mothballed Czech-produced streetcars to expire, and storage costs were running $860,000 a year. In Washington, D.C., the last streetcar ran in 1962. [29] They are United Streetcar model 100. [30] For the first time, street railways in Washington were under the management of one company. Roads by Late Next Year. After a more than a 50-year hiatus, the DC Streetcar, one of the city’s first modes of public transportation made its triumphant return in 2016, transporting riders through the revitalized H Street NE corridor. [63] The streetcar line was part of a proposed $500 million, 62-acre (25 ha) mixed-use housing, office, and retail development that would begin construction in 2013. Pleasant Line in December 1961, the Dupont Circle streetcar stations were used as a civil defense storage area for a few years and then left empty again. On June 27, 1898, the new, combined company changed its name to the City and Suburban Railway of Washington. A curated collection of historic photographs of Washington, D.C. 1924. Forty years after streetcars vanish, efforts begin to bring them back. See: Layton, Lyndsey. It was the main source of transportation to Suburban Gardens, known as "the black Glen Echo", the first and only major amusement park within Washington. World War I saw further increases in passenger traffic. The city began holding public hearings on construction of the line ahead of schedule, due to the imminent 2011 closing of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They ran up and down the street for exactly 100 years until buses replaced them in 1949. The last new streetcar company to form was the Washington, Spa Spring and Gretta Railroad. "Light Rail Closer to Coming to Anacostia.". By early 1946, the company would place in service 489 of the streamlined, modern PCC model and, in the early 1950s, become the first in the nation to have an all-PCC fleet. Both were failures. Nothing happened until Capital Transit took over. [12] However, state and local governments said they were unable to fund Metro's proposal, and the planned projects died. As D.C. continues to wait for the official launch of the H Street Streetcar, local historian John DeFerrari takes readers on a joyride through the history of D.C. streetcars with his new book, "Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington." Cemeteries, parks and parkways make up the remainder. The electric streetcar, however, was too much for the company to compete with and when its principal stockholder died in 1896, it ceased operations. "Feds Give District Better Acreage for Walter Reed Redevelopment. Several hundred cars were scrapped, cut in half at the center door and junked. [10] On June 24, 1908, the first streetcars began service to Union Station along Delaware Avenue NE and by December 6 cars of both Capital Traction and Washington Railway were serving the building along Massachusetts Avenue NE. In 1904, it became its own corporation. [12] After 1888, many cities, including Washington, turned to electric-powered streetcars. The DC Streetcar's H Street/Benning line eventually began public service operations on February 27, 2016. [4] The technology began to spread and on May 17, 1862, the first Washington, D.C., streetcar company, the Washington and Georgetown Railroad was incorporated. [1] 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. [34][35] This span was removed in 1967. This left six companies operating in Washington, four of which had less than 3 miles of track. On March 14, 1914, it changed its name to the Washington and Maryland Railway. Local media reports indicated that the D.C. developers were impressed by the effect streetcars had on Portland's economic development. ", Gowen, Annie. And like the city today, Congress tried to meddle. [23] The goal of the trip was to investigate whether streetcars had the intended positive economic consequences and whether the return on investment seemed worthwhile. There was a streetcar station in the center of Barney Circle but it was removed in the 1970s. Meanwhile, wage freezes held labor costs in check. [10], In 1896 the Belt Railway tried out compressed air motors. [1] Later that year, it bought the Columbia and Maryland Railway, which ran from Mount Rainier to Laurel. This is the story of rail-bound public transportation in the nation’s capital, told on a time line that begins with the Civil War and ends (for now) during the Kennedy administration. [34], The railroad completed its tracks in 1896 and began serving a waiting station at 14th Street NW and B Street NW. [29] In 1898, the Brightwood was ordered to switch to underground electric power on pain of having its charter revoked. By December 31, 1933, it owned 50.016% of the voting stock. In the year following the successful demonstration of the Richmond streetcar, four electric streetcar companies were incorporated in Washington, D.C. "How Many Streetcars Will H Street Get? Elsewhere, the track was buried under pavement. Transit 1470 is kept at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia, Capital Transit 09 is at Rockhill Trolley Museum in Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania, Capital Transit 010 is maintained at the Connecticut Trolley Museum and D.C. One last special trip, carrying organized groups of trolley enthusiasts, set out after that and returned at 4:45 am. On August 23, 1894, it was given permission to enter the District of Columbia using a boat or barge. In 1971, Robert W. Dickerson Jr. of Crozet, Virginia, became the first black superintendent of D.C. Streetcars were unionized in 1916 when local 689 of the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America won recognition after a three-day strike. The Dupont Circle streetcar station tunnel entrances, located where the medians of Connecticut Avenue NW now stand, north of N Street NW, and between R Street NW and S Street NW, were filled in and paved over in August 1964, leaving only the traffic tunnel. It also expanded up Nichols Avenue past the Government Hospital for the Insane (now St. Elizabeths Hospital). DC Streetcar runs free, daily trips along the H Street NE Corridor and Benning Road from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue. Announces Construction of Streetcar Infrastructure", "DDOT Best-Case Scenario Targets November Opening For D.C. Streetcar", "D.C. fails to make good on promise to open streetcar project by end of year", The D.C. Streetcar's Latest Problem: Catching on Fire, "Transportation director: DC streetcar may never open", "APTA Peer Review Finds DC Streetcar Can Open", "District streetcar line can open following fixes, industry group says", "33 things DDOT must fix to open the DC Streetcar", "American Public Transportation Association, Peer Review, for District Department of Transportation, Washington DC", Ginsberg, Steven. 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. 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 1881, the route was extended north and south on 11th Street West and tracks were rerouted across the Mall. [42], In 1932, the Arlington and Fairfax Motor Transportation Company was established to replace the streetcar service of the Arlington and Fairfax which lost the right to use the Highway Bridge. Later that year, the Eckington and Soldier's Home purchased the Maryland and Washington. DC Streetcar 2007-built Inekon car 101 on H Street, from a passing bus (2017).jpg 4,070 × 2,848; 1.91 MB DC Streetcar car 203 arriving at H Street Line's Union Station terminus (2017).jpg 4,241 × 2,804; 1.88 MB [20] In 1897 it experimented with the "Brown System", which used magnets in boxes to relay power instead of overhead or underground lines, and with double trolley lines over the Navy Yard Bridge. Vanderwerken's success attracted competitors, who added new lines, but by 1854, all omnibuses had come under the control of two companies, "The Union Line" and "The Citizen's Line." The 14th Street branch switched to electric power on February 27, 1898, the Pennsylvania Avenue division on April 20, 1898, and the 7th Street branch on May 26, 1898.[1]. "Streetcars Return to D.C.", Young, Joseph. [18] Layton Lyndsey, reporting in The Washington Post, asserted the cars would be the first of their kind to be built in the United States and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. [30], During this time the streetcar companies continued to expand both trackage and service. Find need-to-know information about traveling the DC Streetcar corridor, including guidelines for safety and courtesy. Congress tried to deal with this fractured transit system by requiring them to accept transfers, set standard pricing and by allowing them to use one another's track. The first formal bus company in Washington, the Washington Rapid Transit Company, was incorporated on January 20, 1921. The Anacostia line was scaled back to a demonstration project just 2.7 miles (4.3 km) in length with only four stations: Bolling Air Force Base, the Anacostia Metro station, the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE and Good Hope Road SE, and the Minnesota Avenue Metro station. A new name was soon developed for streetcars powered by electricity in this manner; they were called trolley cars. [7], The last streetcar company to begin operation during the horsecar era was the Capitol, North O Street and South Washington Railway. "D.C. DDOT also said it needed to take delivery of a sixth streetcar, likely in June, before any testing could begin. Maps of each historic district are available online at the links below. ", Emerling, Gary and Ward, Jon. Wants Streetcars to Roll By Mid-2013.'. [53] For $2.2 million they bought a company with $7 million in cash. [1], Between 1896 and 1899, three businessmen purchased controlling interests in the Metropolitan; the Columbia; the Anacostia and Potomac River; the Georgetown and Tennallytown; the Washington, Woodside and Forest Glen; the Washington and Great Falls; and the Washington and Rockville railway companies, in addition to the Potomac Electric Power Company and the United States Electric Lighting Company. And local historian John DeFerrari’s new book, Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, D.C., takes us on a joyride through that century. A one-week pass cost $1.25. It was a financial failure though and on August 13, 1915, the company ceased operations. A closer look at the railcar that runs along H Street NE, from where to board to how to ride. In 1863 the 7th Street line was extended north to Boundary Street NW. They incorporated the Washington Traction and Electric Company on June 5, 1899, as a holding company for these interests. On March 1, 1895, Congress authorized the Rock Creek to purchase the Washington and Georgetown on September 21, producing the Capital Traction Company. Once known as “The Black Broadway,” the U Street Corridor was the epicenter of black culture and art for much of the 20th century. 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.