Seattle Municipal Street Railway

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Seattle Municipal Street Railway
Seattle Street Railway, the first streetcar in Seattle, at Occidental Ave and Yesler Way with Mayor John Leary and city (CURTIS 2035).jpeg
Seattle Street Railway's first streetcar at Occidental Avenue and Yesler Way with Mayor John Leary and city officials in the fall of 1884
Operation
LocaleSeattle, Washington
Horse-drawn era: 1884 (1884)–1889 (1889)
Owner(s) Various (1884–1889)
Operator(s) Various (1884–1889)
Propulsion system(s) Horse
Cable car era: 1887 (1887)–1941 (1941)
Owner(s)
  • Various (1887–1919)
  • Seattle Municipal Street Railway (1919–1941)
Operator(s)
  • Various (1887–1919)
  • Seattle Municipal Street Railway (1919–1941)
Propulsion system(s) Cable
Electric streetcar era: 1889 (1889)–1941 (1941)
Lines 26 streetcar lines (1936)
Owner(s)
  • Various (1889–1919)
  • Seattle Municipal Street Railway (1919–1941)
Operator(s)
  • Various (1889–1919)
  • Seattle Municipal Street Railway (1919–1941)
Track length (total) 231 miles (372 km) (1936)

The Seattle Municipal Street Railway was a city-owned streetcar network that served the city of Seattle, Washington and its suburban neighborhoods from 1919 to 1941. It was a successor to the horse-drawn Seattle Street Railway established in 1884. In 1898 Stone & Webster began forming the system out of smaller lines, the oldest of which had roots from 1884.

By 1900, they had amalgamated 22 lines and gained a 40-year operating franchise. The system also included cable car lines on Madison Street and Yesler Way. The Stone & Webster operation, stripped of rail, later became Puget Sound Energy.

In 1918, the city of Seattle bought many parts of the system, on terms which left the transit operation in financial trouble. In 1939, a new transportation agency, the Seattle Transit System, was formed, which refinanced the remaining debt and began replacing equipment with "trackless trolleys" (as then known) and motor buses. The final streetcar ran on April 13, 1941. Seattle Transit, in turn, was absorbed by King County Metro in 1973.[1]

A modern streetcar system debuted in 2007, with the introduction of the South Lake Union Streetcar. It has since been expanded to include a second line, the First Hill Streetcar, which will be extended downtown to connect the two lines.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crowley, Walt (February 10, 2000). "Street Railways in Seattle". historylink.org. Retrieved February 16, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Blanchard, Leslie (1969). The Street Railway Era in Seattle: A Chronicle of Six Decades. Harold E. Cox.
  • Lane, Bob (1995). Better Than Promised: An informal history of the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle. Seattle.

External links[edit]

Media related to Seattle Street Railway at Wikimedia Commons