By James Guilbeau
Designated as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the St. Charles street railway is the oldest surviving railway in the United States, carrying passengers since 1835. The National Park Service included the New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad on the National Register of Historic Places. Beginning with the first proposal for the railroad in 1832, this pictorial book covers the history of these New Orleans icons.
Including such sections as Suburban Railroad and Urbanization and Innovation, this book discusses the construction of the railroads, noting the materials used and the obstacles faced by engineers. Because horses and mules were originally used as motive power, the Electrification section recalls the development of a single overhead wire as an energy source. The author notes the decrease in streetcars as automobiles became more popular. By 1964, the St. Charles line was the only operating route, but towards the end of the twentieth century, expensive renovations of the streetcar system began to take place.
Excerpts from such publications as the Daily Advertiser and American Railroad Journal detail the building process of the railways, while describing life in New Orleans during the nineteenth century. Maps depict the evolving routes of the New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad. Illustrations dating back to the early 1830s include an image of Carrollton carhouse, a patent for P.G.T. Beauregard’s invention of the cable traction car, and a sketch of a streetcar Carnival float. Period photographs fill the pages of this comprehensive volume.
THE ST. CHARLES STREETCAR
Or, the New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad
By James Guilbeau
TRANSPORTATION / Railroads / History
112 pp. 6x9
15 photos 22 illus.
5 maps Biblio. Appendix