The origins NO&CRR date back to the early 1830s.

origins no&crr

Origins of the NO&CRR

I spoke to the Friends of the Cabildo Tour Guides at their monthly meeting this past Monday. They had me in to discuss the origins of the NO&CRR (New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad), which evolved into the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. I’ll be presenting the talk via blog posts here. We’re starting at the beginning.

Introduction

origins NO&CRR

origins no&crr

If you didn’t know how to get ahold of me online, here you go. @nolahistoryguy on all social media, and there’s my email. Please keep in mind, I may not see your question as the high priority you do!

The image you see is of Canal and Rampart, 1915ish. I use it on my business cards.

Tour Guide Talking Points

origins no&crr

These are important to the guide-on-the-street. While the FOC guides are very smart people, it’s important for me to give them a quick gist of the subject they can use for answering questions.

  • NO&CRR was founded in 1833 and the railroad began operations in 1835
  • The railroad route (and later streetcar line) was named “Carrollton,” not St. Charles.
  • It’s the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the United States. While NYC and Philly had streetcar operations before New Orleans, St. Charles still runs.
  • Connected Downtown to the City of Carrollton
  • First streetcar line to electrify
  • The company operated the single-truck Ford, Bacon & Davis electric cars
  • Upgraded to double-truck arch roof cars in 1915
  • Belt service from 1900-1950
  • Current route dates to 1951
  • Only streetcar line in New Orleans from 1964 to 2004
  • Current line is approximately 13.2 miles in length

We’ll get into the details of these points in this series.

1830s Railroads

Building railroads was a new thing in the 1830s. Businessmen in New Orleans recognized this. A group planning a navigation canal from Faubourg Marigny to Milneburg at the lake opted for a railroad line (the Pontchartrain RR) instead. Others looked at the City of Carrollton as an opportunity.

 

Liked it? Take a second to support NOLA History Guy on Patreon!