The first street railway opened in New Orleans in 1835. Over the years various methods of powering the streetcars including horses, stream locomotives, overhead cable system, and fireless locomotives were tried. In 1893, electric streetcar operation began. At its peak in 1922, New Orleans had 225 miles of electric streetcar lines in operation. Ridership and streetcar lines declined with increased use of automobiles and the hard economic times of the Great Depression. While ridership surged during World War II, following the war the decline in transit riding continued the conversion of streetcar lines to bus operation. With the end of the Canal streetcar line in 1964, only the St. Charles streetcar line remained. In 1983, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority acquired the public transit system. With increased public awareness of the important heritage of the St. Charles streetcar line, the first new streetcar line in 60 years in New Orleans opened on the Riverfront during 1988. Its success contributed to the restoration of streetcars on Canal Street in 2004. This book provides a photographic essay of the New Orleans streetcar system including the new Loyola streetcar line that opened in 2013 and is part of "New Orleans Fabulous Streetcars."
About the Author
Kenneth Springirth, with a lifelong interest in rail transportation. Born and raised in the United States, he commuted to Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia by trolley car, subway, and sometimes commuter train. His father was a trolley car motorman in Philadelphia, and his grandfather was a trolley car motorman in Washington D.C. A detailed researcher, Ken's interest in rail transportation by 2013 has culminated in writing 20 books on trolley car systems and railroads covering a variety of locations.