Talk:List of streetcar systems in the United States

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Add this station[edit]

There is a train in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Glenwood Springs is near Rifle and Eagle in Colorado. Here is a wikipedia article on the Glenwood rail: Glenwood Springs (Amtrak station) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Greshthegreat (talkcontribs) 23:43, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Town gas[edit]

Anybody still make town gas or coal gas? What is probably meant here is Natural gas. Peter Horn 02:05, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Renaming the article[edit]

The word "tram" or "tramway" is almost unknown in the United States. "Trolley" or "streetcar" is common. Thoughts on renaming the article? Wlindley (talk) 13:06, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Not a good idea, for the sake of consistency. The other lists of that kind are all named "...tramway...". So should this one. But make a redirect if you think that's necessary - and maybe one could add that USians call them trolleys/streetcars to the head text of the list. --Thogo (Talk) 13:27, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

There's a bigger problem: "town tramway" is not a commonly-used phrase anywhere. I'm going to move this one specifically to list of local streetcar systems in the United States, which better describes exactly what it is; something needs to be done about the other lists though. --NE2 20:39, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

You are mistaken. Not only is "town tramway" a common term in every English-speaking country in the world other than the U.S. and Canada, "tram" or "tramway" is the most common word for streetcar in all of those countries - as well as by Europeans using English as a second language, who are more likely to learn "British English" than American English. I'm an American, but the English Wikipedia is not only for Americans. Just because this list is about systems in the United States does not mean that only people in North America are interested in its content. And, people in most other countries call these "tramways". I believe it would have been better to have created a redirect than to rename/"move" the article. However, since a redirect to the old name is automatically created, it's not a big deal. But there's now a new bigger problem: You appear to have misinterpreted what the article's name meant, and your new name consequently does not fit the article's coverage. The list does cover interurban systems; the reference to "town" in the longstanding former title was shorthand for "sorted by principal towns served" (wherein town is essentially British for what Americans call a city). As a result, the article's new title is inaccurate, as was your revision to the lead sentence. I've changed the latter back, but I'm holding off renaming the article at this point, because I'm not sure what effect a second move/renaming in quick succession might have on the edit history. You really should not have renamed such a huge article, with many contributors over several years, without allowing for any discussion. The one person before you who suggested changing the name received only one reply, and that reply was opposed to the idea, so how can you argue that there had been "discussion" justifying your changing of the article's name (and redefining of its coverage)? What this list is, and has been for years, is really an "all-time list of streetcar, interurban and light rail systems in the United States, indexed by principal city served", with opening and closing dates, but that is much too long a title. (And "system" in this context is not a reference to a specific operating company or transit authority.) Trying to shorten this a little, I would suggest that the most appropriate name for this article might be "List of city and interurban streetcar systems in the United States, by principal city served" (or primary city), and then saving any other clarifying distinctions – such as that it is an all-time list – for the lead, so as to keep the title from being too long. The article itself is very long, but I see no good way to divide it without creating worse issues. It's not possible to make entirely separate lists for city/"urban" and interurban systems, because there were/are so many instances where there was overlap between the two on individual routes, evolution of systems over time, systems that had both purely-urban lines and interurban lines, differences of opinion as to the definitions of "streetcar" and "interurban", etc. And it is not desirable to split the list into 50 separate lists, one for each state; doing that would turn a small negative (list being very long) into a different but greater negative, making comparison between states (and especially adjacent states with urbanized areas spreading across state lines) very cumbersome. SJ Morg (talk) 08:40, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you can show me some usage of "town tramway" then? --NE2 13:50, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

By the way, it is simple to define a local streetcar system: a system that provides local service. Many interurbans are also local streetcar systems, either by absorption of a preexisting system or by running local cars on the interurban trackage. --NE2 15:55, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

I propose renaming the article, but for a very different reason. A very large majority of these streetcar systems listed are defunct, and the current layout makes it hard to quickly find which a list of active streetcar systems. Therefore, I propose renaming this article as-is "List of defunct streetcar systems in the United States" and removing only those that have never retired from service, then create a new article titled "List of streetcar systems in the United States" that contains only active running networks. -118.210.71.1 (talk) 12:13, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Strong oppose. This is supposed to be an all-time list, of every system that has ever existed, and it is just one in a group of several lists (all in the same format), covering every country in the world. There is already another list in which a person can find the existing U.S. systems relatively easily (within seconds), the List of tram and light-rail transit systems (under the United States heading). There are also the List of rail transit systems in the United States (existing systems only, but including subways and commuter rail in addition to streetcar & LRT) and the template, Template:USLightRail, which lists all existing light and streetcar systems in the U.S. Those lists don't have dates of opening, but someone could create a separate article with that type of detail if desired. But there's no good reason to change this well-established and relatively stable article from being an all-time list (in line with lists for all other countries) to a defunct-systems-only list. All-time lists also have the benefit of showing the different streetcars eras (e.g. horsecar, then electric streetcar, then abandonment, then revival as light rail) for any given city all in one place, in a very abbreviated, well-organized and efficient format. SJ Morg (talk) 13:04, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Hawaii[edit]

Should not a list of tramway systems of the United States just include the state of Hawaii instead of providing a link to "tramways systems in Oceania"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.244.31.35 (talk) 04:25, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

It's a targeted link, in case you didn't notice. If you click on it, it will take you directly to the "Hawaii" section of the aforementioned list, so in effect it is taking you to a page (-section) that is "just the state of Hawaii". I think the reason whoever contributed the info. placed it in the Oceania list and not the United States list is that the only tram/streetcar systems to have existed in Hawaii were abandoned well before Hawaii became a U.S. state. SJ Morg (talk) 05:02, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I imagine that the situation is a result of the fact that the United States list used to be part of the North America list. In such a geography based division, putting Hawaii in Oceania made sense, but now that a separate list for the United States based on political boundaries exists, Hawaii should be moved to that list. Targeted link or not, Hawaii is (and, for the most part, was) part of the United States during it's tramway era.209.244.31.35 (talk) 22:26, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Good point. I agree, and I've now moved it. SJ Morg (talk) 03:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for moving it; such an undertaking is well beyond my Wikipedia abilities.209.244.31.35 (talk) 06:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Format[edit]

I'm curious what people think of the format I changed Alabama to. The main thing it lacks is the dates of conversion, but this seems like too much detail for a general list like this, and would better fit in the articles on the systems. It's also not all that useful to the reader - some systems changed back and forth multiple times, or had several types running at the same time. The general animal or steam to electric change applies to most systems, and special types like cable cars would be better in a separate list of cable car systems (in addition to the mention here). --NE2 09:11, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Too much detail? That depends on the person's interests. I say that your format change gives far too much detail on the companies involved and omits the points that are much more interesting to most people: the starting and ending dates for each city and the distinction between horse and electric (or rarely steam) propulsion. Your reformatting has deleted almost all of that information for Alabama and Arizona, and the choice to drop the tabular format made the list much more difficult to read. I've changed it back. Major format changes to a long list that's clearly had many contributors, over several years (including when it was part of a North America list before being split), shouldn't be made without any discussion, in my opinion. Doing so seems disrespectful of those many previous contributors. What you should have done was to propose a format change (and maybe create a subpage in talk to illustrate what you had in mind) and then allow an opportunity for discussion, instead of just making the major format change in the article itself. If you want an article that lists all of the different operators (companies, authorities) which operated streetcar systems in U.S., feel free to create such an article, but there's no need or justification to discard all of the aforementioned information in the list just because the details in the current format don't interest you. Start a separate article. (However, the type of list you made for Alabama and Arizona was almost entirely red links, and most of those "potential articles" will likely never be written. It doesn't seem worthwhile to create an article whose wikilinks are mostly red and are likely to remain so.) To my thinking, this list was already very condensed, for what it was trying to convey: a basic all-time list by city, with opening and closing dates. The only reason it is so long is that the U.S. is such a huge country and had so many streetcar and interurban systems (this list also includes interurbans). By the way, to most people interested in the subject, "system" here does not refer to the operator/company. The streetcar systems in most U.S. cities had several different operators over their several decades of existence, but are still considered to have been one system, not multiple systems. SJ Morg (talk) 07:41, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Those articles will all be written eventually; there is no deadline. --NE2 13:49, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Peekskill, New York[edit]

The New York List contains a route from Peekskill, New York to Oregon, New York. I knew there was an Oregon, New York on the North Fork of Long Island, but not in Westchester County. Anybody know where it was, and is it time for a List of streetcar lines in Westchester County, New York at this point? ----DanTD (talk) 20:16, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

While we're on the subject, why are Peekskill and Ossining listed separatley from the rest of Westchester County? ----DanTD (talk) 13:41, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

Should List of local streetcar systems in the United States be merged to List of streetcar systems in the United States? Please comment below D O N D E groovily Talk to me 02:31, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Definitely. No point even discussing it. Liam987 08:12, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm glad you feel that way. I've been taking referneces and railroad names from the redundant list and adding them here, when I find a way to do them. ----DanTD (talk) 05:03, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
All done except California. I deleted the other states on List of local streetcar systems in the United States as I merged. Also found some new refs and info about Gadsden, AL. -Colfer2 (talk) 17:04, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
This is just a thought, but have you ever considered renaming List of local streetcar systems in the United States as List of streetcar systems in California? -------User:DanTD (talk) 12:10, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
On second thought, just go ahead and merge the info from California here, and we can create a new list for that state. I'm more interested in making a list for Westchester County, New York. ---------User:DanTD (talk) 12:28, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I am working on merging the rest of the information from the List of local streetcar systems in the United States to the List of streetcar systems in the United States. I would like to know why there are diamond symbols in front of some entries on the List of streetcar systems in the United States so that I can determine if I need to add them to new or updated entries Radio15dude (talk) 06:11, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
An explanation I left at Talk:List of trolleybus systems in July 2009 may help you (be sure to read both parts). SJ Morg (talk) 07:30, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Just how close are we to a merge in the first place? ---------User:DanTD (talk) 17:58, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
I've gone over the two lists, and the merge is finished now, so the merge process can be closed-out (I'm not sure how to do that), redirecting that title to this article. The List of local streetcar systems in the United States was never taken past the first four (of 50!) states in the alphabet by its creator or anyone else, and its content has now been merged into this article. By the way, there's already a List of California street railroads article, and it's been on Wikipedia since 2006. That list's content is closer to what the creator of the 'local .... United States' article appears to have intended, a list of streetcar operating companies, than is this list, which has always been intended to be a list of cities that were the base or focus of a streetcar system (not a list of companies). However, that's moot now, because someone already merged the California content from the 'local' article into this article. SJ Morg (talk) 08:33, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Traverse City, Michigan[edit]

I'm new at this, so please forgive any technical errors.

I removed Traverse City, Michigan from the list because it never had streetcars. Yes, there are picture postcards showing streetcars and there's even one online but these are figments of someone's imagination. Do a search of old references now available online, such as old street railway directories and trade publications, and you won't see Traverse City anywhere. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.168.6.237 (talk) 16:14, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I just came across the following on the "main page:"

"Specific to the US, it is not unknown to find examples of tramways, listed in historic documents among operating systems, that did not in fact exist. It is also not uncommon to find picture postcards, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, showing tramcars operating in towns where tramways did not exist." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.168.6.237 (talk) 16:34, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Missing articles[edit]

"Those articles will all be written eventually; there is no deadline. --NE2 13"

Again, I'm new here, but the above is not true. Some articles will never be written because virtually no information is available. E. B. Phillips ("Nebraska street and interurban railways," Crete, Neb., J-B Pub. Co., 1974) discusses this with reference to Nebraska horsecar lines. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.168.6.237 (talk) 16:33, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


I just came across this on the main page:

"It is believed to be very likely that the historic record does not include "all" public town tramways that ever existed. Town tramways that escaped notice by historians (and regulatory authorities) are thought to have been 1.) located away from Europe, and 2.) worked by some form of traction other than electricity (e.g. horse, steam). Likely countries include Brazil (because of geographic size and incomplete records related to tramways), Mexico (because of its large number of horse- and mule-worked tramways) and the US (because of geographic size and lack of centralized records related to tramways). It is believed to be unlikely, but possible, that the historic record does not include all electric town tramways that ever existed." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.168.6.237 (talk) 16:36, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Present Streetcar Systems[edit]

The lead paragraph of this list says the list includes all streetcar (tram, interurban and light rail) systems past and present but right now this list only includes entries of past systems with a little bit of information about present systems found in some entires note sections. I think present streetcar systems (tram, interurban and light rail) should get their own list entires just like the historical systems. Please comment. Radio15dude (talk) 22:12, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

I support this idea, but it should not include any of the heritage streetcar lines that are only excursion-type lines, running on limited days of the week, not year-round (and often using just a single vehicle), because all of the entries in this List of streetcar systems are/were actual mass transit operations. That doesn't mean that all heritage streetcar lines should be excluded. For example, the Memphis system uses old cars, but it's still actual transit service, running all day long, 365 days a week. The same applies to Dallas' McKinney Avenue line and the lines in Tampa and Little Rock. By contrast, ones like the Astoria Riverfront Trolley and Fort Collins are not, and they should remain confined to a brief mention in the Notes column only. (Essentially, the ones that are italicized in this template should not be given new, separate lines in this list.) SJ Morg (talk) 11:06, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Along those same lines, I'd advocate 'sectioning' this page:
  • have the first section be "Current streetcar systems" (currently, that's pretty much just Seattle and Portland, and the holdover Philadelphia systems, and a couple of the 'Heritage' systems that SJ Morg references (along with New Orleans and San Francisco), I think...) - that table is already ready to go at the List of tram and light rail transit systems page: it just needs to be moved over here.
  • then have the second section be the "Historical streetcar systems" (each 'state table' would then be a 'sub-section' of that "historical" section)
Thoughts?... --IJBall (talk) 05:18, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't support that change. This is an all-time list, and splitting it between former/closed ("historical" is too ambiguous here) and current systems would destroy that function of the list – and (as noted earlier on this page, under Renaming the article, 2011 post) this list is just one of several same-format all-time lists for every country in the world, so it's not a stand-alone list. It's one of numerous lists indexed at List of town tramway systems, and therefore any major format changes should be avoided, so as to maintain relative consistency of format between countries. Second, this list is already too long, but that's unavoidable for an all-time list for the U.S., because the U.S. has had more streetcar and interurban systems than any other country in history, by far. At the same time, I definitely do not advocate splitting this list into 50 separate "by state" lists, because that would splinter the data way too much and make regional comparisons too difficult. But the need for an unavoidably long list means it should be kept as simple as possible: opening and closing dates and distinguishing between the major types of street railways (e.g., horse, electric). Compared to the hundreds of streetcar systems that have existed in the U.S., the current ones – even if one considers light rail system as an upgraded form of streetcar transit – is a tiny fraction of the total. They don't stand out in an all-time list like this, and they don't need to, because WP has other list-type articles for that info. This list is intended to include light rail systems, as noted in the lead; it just isn't mentioned in the title, because the title is already very long, and the 25+ LRT systems make up only a tiny fraction of the list's content.
The only thing that needs to be done to this list, in my opinion, is adding very simple entries for the light rail systems that currently are still noted only in the "notes" column; that has already been done for a few, such as Tampa and Portland. After the May discussion above, I intended to do that for the others if no one else did, but I was distracted by other work. I'll try to do it soon, unless you want to. Unfortunately, another editor created a big problem back in May by moving all of the diamond-symbol-denoted systems to the wrong places in each state list (they are supposed to be grouped by metropolitan area, not alphabetized, and they were that way in this list for several years), and fixing that might take several days, so I don't know when I'll get to it. SJ Morg (talk) 07:24, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

What was the point of switching to YMD date format? These aren't files we're categorizing. In the United States, the preferred format is MDY and, as this is an article pertaining to systems in the US, MDY should be used per MOS. If it's so that dates are sortable, we have Template:dts to fix that very issue. Lost on Belmont 3200N (talk) 22:06, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the first part of the above comment, but not the second. I've left a message on the talk page of the editor who's been changing the date formats, without any discussion, and I've reverted the changes to one state (Arizona) as an example, using the dts template. However, I don't agree with the idea that this list's dates should all be changed to MDY format. Although I'm an American, and MDY is the format I normally use, this list has used DMY format from the very beginning (which is to say for almost 7 years), so it is very stable in that regard and, per WP:DATERET, should not be changed from that. Also, this list is part of a large group of lists covering the opening-and-closing dates of every streetcar system in the world, which are listed at List of town tramway systems, and all of those lists use DMY date format. However, it's mainly that a major change to the date format of a very long list like this, which has been on WP for many years and always used the same date format (dmy), should never be made without any discussion. SJ Morg (talk) 14:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, one of the things I like doing on Wiki is fixing references, esp. date formats, so I can do it manually if other editors want that. So, based on WP:RETAIN, the desire is to go (back) to DMY formats for reference dates? What about the accessdates? – I admit to having a strong preference to doing accessdates in YYYY-MM-DD format, whenever possible, but I can change those to DMY format as well, if there is a strong editorial preference for that... --IJBall (talk) 16:42, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see now – the discussion is about the date columns in the table... Yes, that looks terrible: that needs to go back to DMY format. --IJBall (talk) 17:58, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

OK, this is a far bigger problem than I first realized – User:2020j has messed with a large number of the Town Tramway list articles, in nearly all cases destroying the previous established formatting to the tables contained therein. I've gone ahead and full-scale reverted this editor's changes to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico articles, but similar antics have been pulled at various European Town Tramway list articles, and they're a mess too. It looks like a concerted effort will need to be made here to restore all of these article to their former states, and then a discussion will need to be held as to whether some of User:2020j's changes (e.g. adding a 'gauge' column) are good ideas worth pursuing (with proper table formatting) or not... --IJBall (talk) 18:57, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

This was an issue I was looking into as well, and was about to bring here. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed these widespread changes that haven't been discussed. I would argue that some of these changes are beneficial (such as gauge) but can have drawbacks. This article, for instance, lists gauge in millimeters, but in the US, we don't usually use the metric system. Gauge should be listed in feet and inches and then in millimeters. We already have a nice template that does that very thing. The other issue that this 2020j has done is switch "System name" to "Article." And I think this was pretty wide spread as well. This needs to be reverted as this isn't a list of articles, but systems.
But getting back to DMY vs MDY and compatibility with other similar articles, I still have to argue that this should really be MDY (even though personally I prefer DMY as it is a logical format). Stability aside, this article already separates itself out from other lists as it is a list of "streetcar" systems, not "tramway" systems. Given that the title of the article uses the US term, the date format should follow suit. There doesn't seem to be a problem with the difference in name for this article in terms of matching other lists. Lost on Belmont 3200N (talk) 19:43, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Update: OK, between the two of us, I think we have reverted all of the 'continent-level' town tramway lists back to their earlier states. But there are still a number of 'country-level' town tramway list articles (esp. the European ones) that are still impacted by the recent undiscussed changes to table and date formats... Fixing all of these will be a big job, and it'll probably take more than two editors to do it. --IJBall (talk) 19:14, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Maybe one could use the opportunity to make the table layout for this article a bit nicer, like one single table, with headlines within the table, to enable nationwide sorting (the date format would need to be fixed as well with that dts template, to allow for proper sorting...). And I wished there were references on *all* dates... (Yes the references list would be huge with a big H.) I can provide some references for Maine, Vermont and New Jersey, but not so much for the others... --Thogo 20:34, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
That's a bigger change that would likely require more discussion, and consensus before proceeding. At first blush, I'm inclined to be against this proposal because the existence of so many separate tramway "country" lists points against combining the "left-over countries' tramway systems" together in to one table at the tramway "continent" articles. --IJBall (talk) 01:58, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I certainly won't do such things without getting consensus, which obviously isn't there. ;) That's fine. But I do think that references should be added to all dates in the tables. For some of the dates I highly doubt they exist, or if they exist they might be dubious. For example, the abandonment date given for Morristown, New Jersey, in the table is 1927, which is definitely wrong, as it was Feb 5, 1928, according to all available sources. I doubt that one can find any reliable source that says 1927. So, where does it come from? It might mean to remove a number of the dates, but it's better to have only those in it for which a source exists. In other words, this article should follow the guidelines for WP articles, which it doesn't so far, as it lacks proper sources. :( I know it will be a lot of work to do the necessary research. But someone really has to. --Thogo 12:51, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Update[edit]

@Lost on belmont: @SJ Morg: OK, in light of this discussion, I've decided to use List of town tramway systems in Austria as the "prototype" to the kinds of things we were discussing above. I've converted all of the date formats at List of town tramway systems in Austria to 'dmy format' (with the month abbreviated, e.g. "Jan"), but I used the {{dts}} template. I am actually unconvinced that the {{dts}} template is even necessary as, for example, List of town tramway systems in Germany appears to sort properly by date without it (and, in fact, actually sorts the "Date (To)" column better than with the {{dts}} template, as there seem to be issues with sorting those systems that are operating to the "present" when using the {{dts}} template (and I don't know how to fix that!)...).

In any case, I have come around to thinking that the extra "Gauge" column is both undesirable and unnecessary, as we can just list non-standard gauge systems' info over in the "Notes" column, as I've done at List of town tramway systems in Austria.

One other point: The original "spinoff lists" that SJ commented on disapprovingly were created by User:HTML2011, back in 2011, who was later banned for being a sock puppet of User:Tobias Conradi. The more recent editor, User:2020j, and User:HTML2011, bear all of the same hallmarks (e.g. editing these lists' dates to YYYY-MM-DD format, and adding a "Gauge" column), so I feel pretty confident that User:2020j is another User:Tobias Conradi sock puppet. So if User:2020j pops up again, we should think about filing a sock puppet investigation report.

Bottom line: I am going to try to go through the List of town tramway lists (starting with Europe) over the next few weeks and try to reverse the damage (e.g. esp. the date format changes, and addition of a "Gauge" column) that User:2020j and User:HTML2011 have done over the past few years. I probably won't be using the {{dts}} template anymore when doing so, as I don't think it's even necessary.

So that's where we stand on this... --IJBall (talk) 01:58, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your work on this, IJBall. Sorry that I'm not able to spend much (or any) time on it right now. Regarding date sorting and use of the dts template: My knowledge of wikitable formatting is very limited, but here are my thoughts about the points you mentioned: If you can avoid using the {{dts}} template, that would be great, but I'm not sure you'll able to. In the lists for Germany and (e.g.) France, proper sorting without it appears to require that all single-digit calendar days have a zero added in front, which runs counter to WP:BADDATEFORMAT – if in fact the 0 is required for proper sorting. That alone might be tolerable, but there are other issues, including that for entries where only a year is known, the tables don't appear to sort correctly without using the dts template (e.g. try sorting the Aquitaine table in France). Also, in the Germany list, try sorting the "Berlin" table; at least in the current version of the list, the "Date (From)" column sorts correctly, but the "To" column sorts by day (not year or month), which of course is wrong, despite the fact that the "Baden-Württemberg" table on the same page sorts correctly in its "To" column (except with regard to entries where only the year is known). I don't get it. I don't see any difference in the html formatting between the two tables. Unless you can find an expert on wiki-tables (or become one yourself!), the only good solution may be to use the dts template (and even an expert might tell you the same thing, but I don't know).
On non-date matters: I suggest you make the "Notes" column unsortable; see how I've now done that with the Austria table. I agree that the separate "Gauge" column is not necessary. Austria and Germany will have a lot of exceptions to note in the Notes column, but those two countries are atypical, and most of the country lists won't have a lot of exceptions. Someone may argue that omitting a separate "Gauge" column would make it impossible to sort for that detail, but my response to that would be that there are other places to find that information for non-standard-gauge systems (such as List of track gauges), and including it in these lists just adds more detail to a list format that is already packed with info., and takes away space from the other columns. These lists cannot cover everything for everyone, and at a certain point, adding more columns degrades the entire list, by making it too hard to read (a point I also mentioned above, in a post on 6 Aug. 2013). – SJ Morg (talk) 07:03, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I'd like to point out that all of these country tables were unsortable for several years, only being made sortable relatively recently (within the last year or two, at most), and the lengthy discussions on this page and related pages show why that was the case. Although sorting is definitely a nice feature, it takes a lot of work to make it function well in very long, complex lists such as these. I wish the person who converted the tables to sortable-type had addressed the issues created by that change. Some of the lists remain unsortable (e.g. Italy), and should be left that way unless someone wants to employ the dts template throughout the list. – SJ Morg (talk) 07:22, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
On sortable tables: I can see the merit in going "sortable" for those list-tables that contain all of the systems in a country (e.g. List of town tramway systems in Austria), where you might want to see systems in order of "first-to-last" (opened). (And thanks for making the 'Notes' column unsortable – I meant to do that for Austria, and have been doing it for the other tables I've fixed.) But with those articles where systems are split in to multiple tables (e.g. List of town tramway systems in Europe, List of urban tram networks in Germany, List of town tramway systems in France, etc.) I agree that the tables should actually be left unsortable – I'll be on the lookout for that.
On date formats: Argh – I forgot WP:BADDATEFORMAT included "leading zeros" (e.g. 01 Jan 1901). I've been adding zeros in any case. But, you're right – in some tables, it sorts by date properly, but in others it doesn't, and I can't figure out why it works when it does and doesn't work when it doesn't. I'm going to hold off on using {{dts}} template for now – but it's possible that we may need to go back and use them in those tables where sorting by "regular dates" doesn't work. --IJBall (talk) 07:53, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

New York[edit]

The entry for Westchester County says "see New York City", and the entry for New York City says "see also Westchester County". That looks a bit weird. ;) Maybe the lists linked above below the headline should go into the table, maybe we subdivide the NYC entry into the boroughs (with this ♦ thing)? --Thogo 10:13, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

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