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The Cable Car
Throughout the United States in the late 19th Century, larger cities such as Washington D.C., Kansas City, and Los Angeles all had large-scale cable car operations similar to that of San Francisco's still being operated today. Chicago boasted having the world's largest. In Boston, two cable car lines had been projected and were on the drawing board. One line was to have traveled through the South End and Robxury along Washington Street. The other would start at Bowdoin Square, proceed down Cambridge Street, across the West Boston Bridge to Main Street, onto Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge and into Harvard Square.
The West End Company management took into consideration the high costs of cablecar construction, its maintenance, and New England winters, and was somewhat reluctant to commit to the tremendous ongoing expenses cablecar operation required. As a last resort, they journeyed to Richmond, Virginia to study yet another new technology, electrification, recently undertaken by the Union Passenger Railway Company. The rest would become transportation history.
Links relating to trolleys
Seashore Trolley Museum
Founded in 1939, the Seashore Trolley Museum has grown into the largest electric railway museum in the world with a collection representing almost every major American city that had a streetcar system.
Boston Street Railway Association
The Boston Street Railway Association, a non-profit educational organization, was founded in 1959 to publish, exhibit, and preserve materials and information relating to all forms of local and regional mass transit.
History: Table of Contents
Browse all T Reports, statements, and publications in our Document Library.