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Museum Commemorates End of Street Cars | People

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Museum Commemorates End of Street Cars


This notice comes to us from Eric Ledbetter: The National Capital Trolley Museum commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Congressionally mandated end of street car service in the Nation’s Capital.  On January 28, 1962, street cars made their last runs on 14th Street routes 50 and 54 and on U Street routes 90, 91 & 92.  Today, portions of both of these routes are included in the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) plan to build a 37-mile streetcar system.  

            Eric Madison will present Return of Street Cars to D.C. on Saturday, January 28th at 1:00 p.m.  Ken Rucker, Museum Director of Administration, explains, “Capital Transit Company ended street car service on route 10 from Rosslyn to Kenilworth/Seat Pleasant in 1949 and removed tracks on H Street NE and Benning Road.  Now, I see streetcar rails installed along this transit corridor for the new streetcar system to encourage re-vitalization of communities not served by Metro.”        

            At 3:00 p.m. Jim Hogan will follow with a retrospective talk and slide presentation, Images from the Last Days of D.C. Street Cars.

            Washington’s street cars enabled the expansion of the City beyond the boundaries of L’Enfant’s original design into the County of Washington.  Beginning with horse cars (4mph), then cable cars (10mph), Washingtonians could move about the City.  With the advent of the electric street cars (25 mph), communities such as Anacostia, Chevy Chase, and Brookland developed in the County.  Moreover, outlying communities came to enjoy the fast services of the Washington, Alexandria, and Mt. Vernon Railway (45 mph) and the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis Electric Railroad (75 mph).   

            Early 20th century community development is reflected in the routes of Washington’s Metro and continues to influence planning of the new streetcar system.