Street Car

Book Your Trip

  
You have (0) items in
your Itinerary

Upcoming Events

|

“Awash with Color:…

Feb 14 - May 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

18th Annual Dr.…

Feb 14 - Mar 31, 2016
Join us for the opening reception for the 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King… more

Krystal® Offering…

Feb 14 - 14, 2016
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, a double dose of sweetness is always… more

Mama's Music

Feb 14, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

My Furrever Valentine

Feb 14 - 14, 2016
On Valentine’s Day, adopt a new furry friend during the My Furrever… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Feb 14 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

The Foundation…

Feb 14 - 28, 2016
*Opening Reception: January 15, 2016 - 6pm-10pm The Foundation Gallery will be… more

The Historic New…

Feb 14 - May 7, 2016
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, The Historic New… more

The Photography of…

Feb 14 - Mar 1, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Feb 14 - 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more

Valentine's Day River…

Feb 14 - 14, 2016
Spend a romantic evening aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen this… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Feb 15, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Krystal® Hosts Happy…

Feb 15 - 15, 2016
Why should Happy Hour be limited to one hour? Well at Krystal, it isn’t!… more

Monday Blues

Feb 15, 2016 - Jan 05, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Get your live local blues fix with Sean Riley. more

The Irish House…

Feb 15, 2016
This is the Biggest Irish Music Session in the south. On a Night you will see… more

The Maison Presents -…

Feb 15, 2016 - Jul 31, 2017
The Royal Roses grew out of the rich resurgence that traditional jazz is seeing… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Feb 16 - Sep 27, 2016
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Saenger Theatre…

Feb 16 - 21, 2016
KINKY BOOTS is Broadway's huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by Grammy… more

Singer/Songerwriter…

Feb 16, 2016 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Blaze Pizza's Wine…

Feb 17 - 24, 2016
Join as at Blaze Pizza New Orleans for Wine Down Wednesday. Purchase a glass of… more

“Awash with Color:…

Feb 14 - May 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

New Orleans Streetcars

Streetcar header 708x150

Made famous by Tennesee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, New Orleans streetcars are a vital component of local infrastructure. Not simply tourist trolleys, the streetcars transport locals around the city in leiu of bus lines along the major thoroughfares. Hopping on a streetcar is a great way to explore New Orleans while experiencing history - plus it's only $1.25 (exact change only) each way. 

The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar

A ride along St. Charles Avenue is a journey into the history of New Orleans. In 1835, the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad began operation of the St. Charles Streetcar line, then called the Carrollton line. Steam-powered cars traveled from Canal Street through several "fabourgs" (suburbs) in the town of Carrollton, which was once entirely separate from the city of New Orleans.

Shortly after the Civil War, ex-Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard did away with the steam locomotives, reverting to horse power. The horse-drawn streetcars, though inefficient, gave a quieter citywide network of transportation. Horse-drawn streetcars lasted for more than 20 years, despite attempts to replace them with technology such as ammonia powered engines, steam dummy engines and electric batteries.

Finally, in 1893, the first cars that used overhead electricity went into operation. The new electric cars were built by the St. Louis Car Company, and a gala celebration marked the installation of the new system, one that continues to serve the line today. The St. Charles Avenue line is the oldest continually operating street railway system in the world and was named one of the only moving National Historic Landmarks in 2014. 

The Canal Streetcar Line

For more than two centuries, Canal Street has been a vital thoroughfare for New Orleanians. Mule-driven carriages served as the first form of public transit down Canal Street in the 1860s, with electric streetcars dominating the line by the l890s. By 1910, streetcars were running the length of Canal Street and beyond, into the growing suburbs. But as the years went on, buses slowly replaced streetcars on most lines and, in May of 1964, streetcars were completely removed from Canal Street.

After an absence of some forty years the streetcars were returned to Canal Street, and the line now runs nearly six miles, from the River to City Park Avenue and the Cemeteries, with a spur at Carrollton Avenue where you can proceed up North Carrollton to Beauregard Circle, Bayou St. John and the park entrance.

The Canal Streetcar line transports local residents to work and play downtown and carries tourists to the many shops, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues in historic Mid-City and City Park.

The Canal Streetcar line includes a fleet which were constructed by a special team of RTA blacksmiths, carpenters, electricians and mechanics. The streetcars' design resembles the original Perley Thomas models, which are still in use on the St. Charles line.

The Loyola Avenue Streetcar

The Loyola Ave. streetcar is the newest streetcar line that links the Union Passenger train terminal, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, City Hall, the public library and downtown hospitals. These links connect the Sports District to the Central Business District, French Quarter and Warehouse District.

The Riverfront Streetcar

Long a dream of developers, business people and streetcar enthusiasts, the Riverfront streetcar was the first major capital project in New Orleans to combine the resources of the City's public and private sectors.

The concept was to develop 1.5 miles of the existing Public Belt Railroad corridor. The new line tied together the commercial developments in the Warehouse District, a legacy of the 1984 World's Fair, to the developments along with riverfront in the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny.

Within months of the line opening in 1988, it was evident that demand far exceeded capacity. In order to handle the crowds of locals, conventioneers and other visitors, the Transit Authority approved the extension of the line another half mile and the addition of three more streetcars to the line, bringing the total Riverfront fleet to seven streetcars.

“Don't you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn't just an hour - but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands - and who knows what to do with it?”
― Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire

Today, the Riverfront line is a major attraction to visitors who want to enjoy shopping in the French Market and the many shops along riverfront. In addition, the line serves the Aquarium of the Americas, the huge Hilton complex, the Riverwalk Shopping Center and the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center.

 An Anticipated Expansion

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, which operates streetcars in New Orleans, has broken ground on a significant expansion. The new lines will run 2.5 miles along Rampart from Canal Street and continue down St. Claude Avenue to Press Street in the Bywater neighborhood. In addition, a segment will turn off St. Claude Avenue down Elysian Fields Avenue toward the river to tie in with the existing Riverfront streetcar line. 

A Streetcar Named Desire

The Tennessee Williams play certainly made this streetcar internationally famous. It was once part of the city's grand electrified system of public transportation that literally ringed the entire east bank of the city.

 


This material may be reproduced for editorial purposes of promoting New Orleans. Please attribute stories to New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. 2020 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130 504-566-5019. www.neworleanscvb.com.