Street Car

Book Your Trip

  
You have (0) items in
your Itinerary

Upcoming Events

|

“Joseph and the…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
This family musical classic from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber chronicles… more

Adler’s Jewelry Tea…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
In an afternoon of elegant indulgence, an exclusive trunk show of stunning,… more

Deanie's Seafood 6th…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
Join us for Deanie's Seafood's sixth-annual Pinch A Palooza Festival &… more

Edgar Degas: The…

Apr 19 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

EN MAS’: Carnival and…

Apr 19 - Jun 7, 2015
Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance… more

ETCHYNPÜFE Group Show…

Apr 19 - May 31, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to host ETCHYNPÜFE, a group show… more

FOUR VOICES at the…

Apr 19 - May 24, 2015
The Garden District Gallery is pleased to present FOUR VOICES featuring… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Apr 19 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Joe Krown Trio feat.…

Apr 19 - 26, 2015
Join us for the  Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter "Wolfman"… more

JPAS Presents The…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
For decades, renowned advice columnist Ann Landers answered countless letters… more

La Nuit Presents…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
Join us for a monthly stand-up comedy show at La Nuit Comedy Theater for … more

M.S. Rau Antiques…

Apr 19 - May 4, 2015
Long established and leading art, antiques and jewelry specialist M.S. Rau… more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Apr 19 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Tennessee Williams:…

Apr 19 - May 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The Irish House -…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015

The New Orleans…

Apr 19 - Nov 18, 2015
Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original… more

Trinity Artist Series…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
Join us for the Jefferson Chorale directed by Louise LaBruyere in a program… more

GALATOIRE’S…

Apr 20 - 20, 2015
Galatoire's Restaurant, the grand dame of New Orleans fine dining, will host… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Apr 20 - 20, 2015
Join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for Monday Funkday. more

Preservation Jazz…

Apr 20 - 20, 2015
Live New Orleans Jazz Nightly! more

“Joseph and the…

Apr 19 - 19, 2015
This family musical classic from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber chronicles… 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.