U.S. Urban Rail Transit Lines
Opened From 1980: Appendix
Compiled by Leroy W. Demery, Jr. • October 25, 2010
Copyright 2005-2010, Publictransit.us
U.S. Urban Rail Segments Opened From 1980, Part 4
Appendix: Historic Opening Years
The following information for Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco surface tramway ("streetcar" or "trolley") lines is presented to complement similar data for separated HRT and LRT lines presented by Pushkarev et al. (1982).
Ashmont-Mattapan (Red Line; also known as "Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line"), (3.5 km) 2.2 mi: Dorchester and Milton Branch Railroad opened 1847. To Old Colony Railroad Company in 1886, to New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company in 1893. Closed 1926. "High Speed Trolley Line" opened 1929.
Green Line branches (Clarke and Cummings 1997).
A-Watertown (now closed): Commonwealth Avenue & Brighton Avenue – Union Square, Allston, opened 1896.
Union Square, Allston – Oak Square, Brighton opened 1858; horse traction. Electrified 1889.
Oak Square, Brighton – Newton Corner opened 1896. Newton Corner – Watertown Square opened 1900. Routed into subway by 1912. Operation suspended 1969; closure made permanent 1994.
B-Boston College: Segment to Chestnut Hill Avenue opened 1900. Chestnut Hill Avenue – Lake Street (Boston College) opened 1896.
C-Cleveland Circle: Segment to Coolidge Corner (Harvard Street) opened 1888, horse traction. Extended to Cleveland Circle 1889. Electrified 1889. Routed into subway from 1897.
D-Riverside: Brookline Branch of Boston & Worcester Railroad Company opened 1847 between a point near today's Kenmore Square station and today's Brookline Village station. Charles River Branch Railroad opened 1852 between Brookline Village and today's Newton Highlands station. Newton. Owned by Boston & Albany Railroad Company from 1882, Newton HighlandsRiverside opened 1886. Known as "Highland Circuit," and later as "Highland Branch," of the B&A RR Co (New York Central System). Closed 1958. Rebuilt; reopened as LRT from 1959.
E-Arborway: Segment to Huntington Avenue & Tremont Street opened ca. 1883; horse traction. Electrified 1894.
Huntington Avenue, Tremont Street – South Huntington Avenue, opened 1859; horse traction. Electrified 1894. South Huntington Avenue, Huntington Avenue – Centre Street, opened 1906.
Centre and South Streets, Huntington Avenue – McBride Street (Jamaica Plain Carhouse), opened 1857; horse traction. Electrified 1891. Jamaica Plain Carhouse – Forest Hills opened 1902. Routed into subway from 1903.
Operation suspended, Brigham Circle – Arborway, 1985. Restored, Brigham Circle – Heath Street, 1989. Restoration of Heath Street – Arborway ordered in 2001 by Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Blue and Green lines (Toman 1990):
Tower City – East 34th -Campus, (2.4 km) 1.5 mi, opened 1930.
East 34th-Campus – Shaker Square, (7.3 km) 4.5 mi, opened 1920.
Green Line:
Shaker Square – Coventry, (0.5 km) 0.3 mi, opened 1920.
Coventry – Fontenay Road, (2.6 km) 1.6 mi, opened 1913.
Fontenay Road – Courtland, (0.8 km) 0.5 mi, opened 1920.
Courtland – Warrensville, (0.6 km) 0.4 mi, opened 1928.
Warrensville – Green, (1.6 km) 1.0 mi, opened 1936.
Blue Line:
Shaker Square – Lynnfield, (4.4 km) 2.7 mi, opened 1920.
Lynnefield – Warrensville, (1.0 km) 0.6 mi, opened 1930.
Surface Tramway ("Trolley") Lines (Cox 1982): All surface tramway lines operated currently by motorbus, except for Route 15:
6-Ogontz Avenue. Opened 1905. Closed 1986, together with (2.9 km) 1.8 mi of depot access track in Old York Road.
15-Girard Avenue. Girard Avenue, 2nd Street – 31st Street, opened 1859, horse traction. Palmer Street 2nd Street opened 1866. Norris Street Palmer Street opened 1875. Electrified; 31st Street – 60th Street opened 1900. 60th Street – 63rd Street and Allegheny Avenue Norris Street opened 1903.
Operation suspended 1992. Reopening scheduled for 2004 June 13; postponed "indefinitely" because of a political dispute (over on-street parking for private autos at the west end of the line). The operator announced at 2005 June that reopening would take place by 2005 September. A subsequent announcement, at 2005 August, stated that the reopening would take place on 2005 September 4; this was carried out as planned. Segment Length (above) includes (0.2 km) 0.1 mi shared with subway-surface route 10.
23-Gemantown Avenue – 11th & 12th Streets. 11th Street, Wharton Street – Colona Street (one block north of Susquehanna Avenue), and Germantown Avenue, 11th Street – Church Lane (two blocks east of Chelten Avenue), opened 1858, horse traction. Electrified, Church LaneBethlehem Pike (Chestnut Hill) opened 1894. 12th Street segment opened 1897.
Operation suspended 1992. Weekend-only service over north extremity of line (Germantown Depot – Bethlehem Pike) to 1996.
New (0.2-km) 0.1-mi track segment in Noble Street built 1994 for "Welcome Line" loop service in the Philadelphia business center ("Center City"). Regular "Welcome Line" service operated from summer 1995 to 1995 December. "Holiday Trolley" operation during winter holiday season (Thanksgiving - Christmas), 1996 - 2000.
50 Lawndale – 4th & 5th Streets. 5th and 6th streets, Berks Street – Jackson Street, opened 1858, horse traction. Electrified 1894. Remainder opened 1896.
Operation suspended 1980, closure made permanent 1986. Segment Length (above) includes peak-period northern extension from Olney loop to Knorr loop, (3.1 km) 1.9 mi and alternate peak-period south terminal at 4th Street and Ritner Street, (0.5 km) 0.3 mi.
53-Wayne Avenue-Erie Avenue. Wayne Avenue, Pulaski Street – Mannheim Street, horse traction, 1859 - 1860 or 1861. Steam traction, 1862; service ended by 1863. 13th Street & Erie Avenue – Wayne Avenue & Washington Lane opened 1894. Wayne Avenue, Washington Lane Carpenter Lane, opened 1904.
Operation suspended 1985, closure made permanent 1989. Segment Length (above) includes (0.8 km) 0.5 mi shared by Route 15.
56-Erie Avenue – Torresdale Avenue. Torresdale Avenue, Margaret Street – Cottman Avenue, opened 1903. Erie Avenue opened 1905. Connected 1928. Operation suspended 1991; some segments of track paved over subsequently. A report current at 2004 October stated that all track was paved over and overhead wires removed, but closure had not been made permanent.
60-Allegheny Avenue. Opened 1906; Allegheny Avenue, 17th Street – 23rd Street, opened 1923.
Operation suspended 1977, closure made permanent 1983. Segment Length (above) includes (0.2 km) 0.1 mi shared with route 15.
Subway-Surface Tramway ("Trolley") Lines: Segment Lengths, and Historic Opening Years (from Cox 1985):
10-Overbrook – Center City (Lancaster Avenue – Subway): (9.5 km) 5.9 mi.
Lancaster Avenue, Haverford Avenue – 52nd Street, opened 1859, horse traction. Electrified 1894. Subway-surface line from 1908. Lancaster Avenue & 52nd Street 63rd Street & Malvern Avenue opened 1926.
11-Darby – Center City (Woodland Avenue – Subway): (10.8 km) 6.7 mi.
Opened 1859, horse traction. Electrified 1894. Subway-surface line from 1906.
13-Yeadon and Darby – Center City (Chester Avenue – Subway):
(11.3 km) 7.0 mi. Includes peak-period extension, Yeadon Loop – Darby Loop, (1.5 km) 0.9 mi.
Chester Avenue, Woodland Avenue – 49th Street, opened 1895. Woodland Avenue & 49th StreetKingsessing Avenue & 65th Street opened 1905. Kingsessing Avenue & 65th Street Darby opened 1902-1907. Subway-surface line from 1956.
34-Angora – Center City (Baltimore Avenue – Subway): (7.9 km) 4.9 mi. Opened 1908 as subway-surface line.
36-Eastwick – Center City (Elmwood Avenue – Subway): (11.8 km) 7.3 mi. Opened 1900. Subway-surface line from 1908.
Subway-Surface Division Segment Lengths, Less Duplications:
(4.0 km) 2.5-mile of separated alignment (Subway, Juniper Street – 40th & Woodland Avenue Portal), route 10 uses (3.2 km) 2.0 mi to 36th & Market Street portal.
(1.6 km) 1.0 mi of reserved-track alignment (Route 36, Elmwood Avenue Loop – 80th & Eastwick Avenue Loop).
(27.9 km) 16.3 mi of in-street alignment. Subway-surface division also has (2.4 km) 1.5 mi of track used during Monday early am ("owl service") hours when the subway is closed.
Suburban Tramway ("Trolley") Lines (DeGraw 1985):
Sharon Hill Line:
69th St Terminal – Baltimore Pike (Clifton), (5.3 km) 3.3 mi, opened 1906.
Baltimore Pike (Clifton) – Clifton-Aldan, (0.8 km) 0.5 mi, opened 1907.
Clifton-Aldan – Providence Road, (0.3 km) 0.2 mi, opened 1907.
Providence Road – Collingdale, (1.6 km) 1.0 mi, opened 1907.
Collingdale – Sharon Hill, (0.5 km) 0.3 mi, opened 1917.
Media Line:
Drexel Hill Junction (Shadeland Ave) – Orange Street, (10.5 km) 6.5 mi, opened 1913.
The Pittsburgh LRT system incorporates many segments built prior to opening of the downtown subway on 1985 July 7, and opening of "LRT" service (worked by new light rail vehicles) on 1987 May 23. Summary:
Pittsburgh Business Center:
The segment between Penn Station, Steel Plaza and Station Square, (2.3 km) 1.4 mi, incorporates former railway formations, including the Panhandle Tunnel. The underground segment between Gateway and Steel Plaza (0.8 km) 0.5 mi was built new. Details:
--Pittsburgh horse tramway ("horsecar") service opened 1859; first electric tramway ("trolley") line opened 1888. Last in-street alignments used by tramway services, primarily in Wood Street, Smithfield Street, Grant Street and Liberty Avenue, closed 1985.
--Panhandle Tunnel opened 1863. Built by Pittsburgh & Steubenville Extension Railroad Co., later absorbed by Pennsylvania Railroad Company (PRR). Freight service withdrawn by Consolidated Rail Corporation ("Conrail") in 1980. Rebuilt 1983-1985 for LRT use. Reopened 1985.
Original length (0.3 km) 0.2 mi; length following extensions and reconstruction, (0.4 km) 0.3 mi.
Monongahela River Crossing:
Smithfield Street Bridge used by tramway services until 1985; LRT services use a former railway bridge (Panhandle Bridge, below). Details:
--Smithfield Street Bridge, (0.4 km) 0.2 mi opened 1883 with rails for horse trams in deck. Enlarged 1889 (east or "upstream" side); upstream side widened to provide reserved-track alignment for streetcars in 1911. Closed to tramcars 1985; tracks removed. Former tramcar reservation opened as a single lane for road traffic following 1994-1995 rehabilitation.
--Panhandle Bridge, (0.4 km) 0.2 mi 1903. Built by Pittsburgh & Steubenville Railroad Co., later absorbed by PRR. Freight service withdrawn by Conrail in 1980. LRT use from 1985.
Under, and Over, Mt. Washington:
--Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel, (1.1 km) 0.7 mi opened 1904. Opened to joint operation by buses and tramcars following 1974-1975 reconstruction. Renovated 1993. (The tunnel has a gradient of 6 percent, or 1 in 17, ascending from the Monongahela River valley.)
--Route 49 Arlington-Warrington, (4.0 km) 2.5 mi, created in 1971 from portions of former 47 Knoxville (48 Arlington) and 49 Beltzhoover tramway lines. Used as bypass route during reconstruction of Mt. Washington tunnel in 1974-1975.
Operation suspended 1982-1985 to permit reconstruction (of Carson Street segment). Used as bypass in 1985 during construction to connect Mt. Washington Tunnel and new ramp to Panhandle Bridge. Reopened thereafter (in 1985) as route 52-Allentown.
Operation suspended 1986 because track in New Arlington Avenue was declared unsafe. Rebuilt with double track throughout, except at the ramp to the Panhandle LRT bridge; Conrail refused to permit construction of a ramp sufficiently wide to carry two tracks over its railway line. Restored 1993; again used as bypass during renovation of Mt. Washington tunnel (1993); operation of 52-Allentown service suspended during tunnel renovation.
South Hills Junction to Castle Shannon via Dormont:
--South Hills Junction – Dormont, (5.5 km) 3.4 mi, opened 1904; eventually became route 42-Dormont.
--Dormont – Mount Lebanon, (1.0 km) 0.6 mi, and Mount Lebanon – Castle Shannon, (2.3 km) 1.4 mi opened 1903. Dormont – Mount Lebanon eventually became route 38-Mount Lebanon, and Mount Lebanon – Castle Shannon eventually became route 38A Mount Lebanon Extension. Route 42/38 established 1963, because of closure of route 38-Mount Lebanon between South Hills Junction and Dormont.
Operation suspended for reconstruction 1984-1987.
--Mount Lebanon Transit Tunnels, Dormont Junction – Shady Drive, (1.0 km) 0.6 mi, opened 1987.
South Hills Junction to Castle Shannon via Overbrook:
--Narrow-gauge mining railway built southward from vicinity of today's South Hills Junction from early 1860s. South Hills Junction – Overbrook – Castle Shannon opened 1871 by Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon Railroad Co. Passenger service opened 1874. Line leased to Pittsburgh Railways Co. in 1905. Electrified, third running rail installed 1908 to permit operation of (1,588 mm) 5' 2½" gauge interurban cars. Beginning of service to Pittsburgh business center delayed to 1909 because of dispute between company and the municipal authority. Narrow-gauge freight service (coal trains) operated during night hours after 1909, and was withdrawn in 1912. Operation suspended 1993 because of landslides and poor condition of bridges; restored 2004 following reconstruction. (8.9 km) 5.5 mi.
Library Branch:
Castle Shannon – Library, (9.0 km) 5.6 mi, opened 1903. Operation suspended 1982-1984 because of reconstruction of Castle Shannon – Washington Junction (– Dorchester) segment. Operation suspended for two months in 1988 for rehabilitation to permit light rail vehicles to serve Library.
Drake and South Hills Village Branches:
--Washington Junction – Dorchester – Drake line, (4.4 km) 2.7 mi opened 1909. Operation suspended from 1982 during reconstruction of Washington Junction – Dorchester segment, (2.3 km) 1.4 mi.
--Washington Junction – Dorchester segment reopened, and new Dorchester – South Hills Village branch opened, in 1984.
--Dorchester – Drake segment reopened 1986. Operation suspended 1999 because remaining PCC-type cars had become life-expired. Reconstruction and reopening pending availability of funds.
San Francisco
(Hilton 1971 and Perles et al. 1981)
Market Street, Third Street – Valencia Street, opened 1860, steam traction. Extended to waterfront 1863. Horse traction from 1868. Cable traction, Ferry Building – Valencia Street, 1883. Valencia StreetCastro Street opened 1886. Operation with cable traction ended 18 April 1906 because of earthquake damage. Service restored 6 May 1906, using electric traction.
J-Church line opened 1917.
K-Ingleside line opened 1918 via Twin Peaks Tunnel to St. Francis Circle. Completed 1919; incorporated existing line opened 1895-1896.
L-Taraval line opened 1919; incorporated existing line (opened ca. 1907), 20th Avenue – 33rd Avenue. Extended to Taraval Street & 48th Avenue 1923. Extended to Zoo 1937.
M-Ocean View line opened 1925. Replaced by motorbus 1939, rail service restored 1944.
N-Judah line opened 1928.
T-Third: Introductory service, weekends only, fare-free, started 2007 January 13. Full-time service opened 2007 April 7.
Construction of segment between Sunnydale Avenue and CalTrain Bayshore Station deferred.
Previous tramway line opened 1867 to Carroll Avenue, extended thereafter to Jamestown Avenue. Electrified 1895 to Palou Avenue, extended thereafter to Jamestown Avenue and southward to the county line (a short distance south of Sunnydale Avenue).
Sunday service replaced by bus from June 1940. Line closed 1941 September 12. Track removed south of Mariposa Avenue because of road widening. Peak-period service restored 1943 May 15 (?) to serve Bethlehem Steel Shipyard. This operated from Townsend Street, southward in Third Street to Mariposa Avenue, westward on temporary track, then southward in Illinois Street to 19th Avenue. Illinois Street had a railway goods (freight) line (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway), and this was electrified temporarily. Tramway service withdrawn 1946 October 7.
The authors express sincere appreciation to the following persons who provided information and feedback during preparation of this tabulation: Maurice M. Carter, Darrell Clarke, Roger Christensen, Allen Drake, William Lieberman, Charles J. Lietwiler, Thomas G. Matoff, Frank S. Miklos, Russell Olson, Edson L. Tennyson, P.E., David Warren and Julian Wolinsky. Van Wilkins reviewed the initial draft of this tabulation and kindly provided extensive commentary and feedback.
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Document History
Original Posting 2004 March 30.
Revised 2004 June 6.
Revised 2004 August 23.
Revised 2004 October 6.
Revised 2004 December 20.
Revised 2005 March 28.
Revised 2005 June 22.
Revised 2005 August 23.
Revised 2005 October 18.
Revised 2006 May 19.
Revised, links checked 2007 April 15.
Revised 2007 August 16.
Revised 2007 November 25.
Revised 2008 February 5.
Revised, Chicago table corrected, "Passenger Traffic Statistics" separated, 2009 January 20.
Revised, selected segments opened or closed prior to 1980 added, 2009 July 20.
Revised, separated into parts, lines "under construction, under design and in planning" added, Appendix 1 deleted, Appendix 2 renumbered, Raleigh-Durham deleted, links checked, 2010 October 25.