Thursday, June 24, 2010

Old streetcar tracks spotted on 14th Street

Just got this photo and note from a reader:
I noticed this yesterday while watching the construction. As part of redoing 14th st they need to remove the old street car tracks that are a few inches beneath the asphalt. Pretty cool to see what once existed, esepecially considering the longer term -and a bit unlikely given the current status of the H st project - vision the city has for street cars running again from brookland to woodley park.
Cool indeed!  There is a planned streetcar on Georgia Avenue, but that's a few years away at least. Streetcars used to run all over the neighborhood and the city: for example, the park at 11th and Monroe is often called Trolley Turnaround Park because that's where the 11th Street streetcar would stop and turn around to head back downtown.


  1. this is cool indeed! It reminds me of how when I first moved to the area in the late 70s, you often saw streetcar tracks poking out through the asphalt from various city streets. It's a real tragedy that they were ever taken out of service -- I've long believed that their removal in the 60s contributed greatly to the city's unraveling and decline.

  2. I seem to remember that the District government back in the 60's paid O. Roy Chalk (Remember him? DC Transit?) to remove those -- paid him not once, but twice. He must have pocketed the $$ knowing that it would bring on some nostalgia 50 years later -- good ol' Roy, always had us in his best interests!

    An Old DCer

  3. I now reside in Northern VA, but I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA in the '60s & '70s.
    When I was a little kid, there were streetcars everywhere, and then they tore them all up, sometime before the phony "oil crisis" of the mid '70s. If you go there today, you can still find the old trolly trax poking thru the pavement in places, and even some old streetcar bridges that are now overgrown with waist-high weeds and sumac trees, & maybe small oaks or maples. It's sad, and it boggles the mind, to think that they wasted this utility, and the beautiful old PCC cars that went with it. Idiocracy at work, I guess.


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