Before Katrina and its aftermath, the St. Charles
Streetcar was known as the oldest
continuously operating street railroad in the world. Service
along the inner portion of the route dates back to 1835. A
marker commemorating the history of the line -- at least as that
existed -- tells that prior
to electrification in 1893 it was
powered by mule, horse, and steam engine. It is one of the very few
transportation routes to have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It's roughly a seven mile ride in each direction.
Outbound it leaves the CBD
(as the traditional downtown is usually called), and then heads through the Warehouse
District, Lower and Upper Garden District, Uptown, and to the Riverbend,
where it temporarily ends,. Along the way it passes Tulane and
Loyola Universities, and the very large Audubon Park.
Most of the areas through which the traditional St. Charles line
little or no flooding, except toward its traditional end in the Carrollton
neighborhood. But the rail and power infrastructure were severely
damaged by the storm. At the time of this photo in
late 2007 the terminal on the reopened portion of the line had been extended to just beyond Napoleon Ave. in
Uptown. Two cars were waiting there in this scene.