THE GS TRAM SITE

PORTLAND

OREGON, UNITED STATES

flag.us 48 states

1937



UNITED STATES

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GS Web Site Home


Portland Brill streetcar

Portland tram map


INSET: CENTRAL PORTLAND

Portland center 1937 downtown tram map


INSET: WESTERN PORTLAND

Portland West 1937 tram map


DISCONTINUATION DATES OF STREETCAR TRACKS BETWEEN 1937 AND MAY 1943 (affected route designations in parantheses)

  • 1940 (exact date unknown): NW 5th Av; Railroad Bridge - NE Holladay Street; SE Grand St. & NE Holladay Street - NE Prescott St (IV); Broadway Bridge - N Denver Av. & N Argyle St. (MA)
  • 1940 March 24: SE Grand Ave. & SE Hawthorne Blvd. - SE Powell Blvd. (BT); SW 2nd Av. & SW Taylor St. - Sellwood (Golf Jct.) (SW)
  • 1940 Sept. 3: Union Ave. & NE Alberta St. - Vancouver WA (VC)
  • 1941: NW 23rd Av. & W Burnside St. - Arlington Heights (AH)); NW 23rd Av. & W Burnside St. - Kings Heights (KH)

STREETCAR ROUTES

Operator: Portland Traction

AB Alberta SW Alder St. - NW 3rd Av. - Railroad Bridge - Union Av. - NE Alberta St. - NE 30th Av. - NE Ainsworth St.
AH Arlington Heights NW 23rd Av. & W Burnside St. - W Burnside St. - Arlington Heights (SW Kingston Av. - SW Fairview Blvd. - SW Champlain Dr.)
BT Bridge Transfer N Broadway - N Larrabee Av. - NE Holladay Street - SE Grand Ave. - SE Powell Blvd.
BW Broadway SW Madison St. - Broadway - Broadway Bridge - N Broadway - NE 24th St. [back: NE 22nd St.] - NE Regents Dr. - NE 29th Av. - NE Mason St.
CC Council Crest SW 5th Av. - SW Washington St. [back: SW Morrison St.] - W Burnside St. - SW Vista Av. - Portland Heights - Council Crest
IV Irvington SW Washington St. - Broadway [back: NW 5th Av.] - Railroad Bridge - NE Holladay Street - NE 15th Av. - NE Prescott St.
KH Kings Heights NW 23rd Av. & W Burnside St. - W Burnside St. - Kings Heights (NW Hermosa Blvd. & NW Ariel Terr.)
MA Mississippi SW Madison St. - Broadway - Broadway Bridge - N. Mississippi Av. - N Albina Av. - N Denver Av. & N Argyle St.
MT Mount Tabor SW 13th Av & SW Montgomery St. - SW 11th Ave. - SW Morrison St. - Morrison Bridge - SE Morrison St. - SE Belmont St. - SE 88th Av.
MV Montavilla SW 3rd Av. & SW Morrison St. - Morrison Bridge - SE Grand Av. - SE Ankeny Street - SE 28th Ave. - NE Glisan Street - [NE 80th Av. & SE Stark St.] / [NE 90th Av. & NE Glisan Street]
SW Sellwood SW 2nd Av. & SW Taylor St. - [SW 2nd St. - SW Alder St. - SW 1st Av.] [back: SW Madison St. - SW 2nd St.] - Hawthorne Bridge - SE Hawthorne Blvd. - SE 11th Ave. [back. SE 12nd Ave.] - SE Milwaukie Av. - Sellwood (Golf Jct.) [Standard-gauge line]
TT Twenty-third Ave. SW 3rd Av. & SW Washington St. - SW Washington St. - W Burnside St. - NW 23rd Av. - NW Thurman St. - NW 27th Av. - NW Upshur St. - NW 27th Av. [loop back to NW Thurman St.]
VC Vancouver SW 3rd Ave. & SW Washington St. - SW 2nd Av. - NW 3rd Av. - Railroad Bridge - Union Av. - Interstate Bridge - Vancouver WA (SW 3rd Av. & Washington St.)
WH Willamette Heights SW 3rd Av. & SW Morrison St. - SW Morrison St. [back: W Burnside St. - SW Washington St.] - NW 19th Av. - NW Glisan St. - NW 21st Av. - NW Northrup St. - NW 25th Av. - NW Raleigh St. - NW 27th Av. - NW Thurman St. - Willamette Heights (NW Gordon St. & NW Thurman St.)
WO Westover SW 3rd Av. & SW Morrison St. - SW Morrison St. [back: W Burnside St. - SW Washington St.] - NW 19th Av. - NW Glisan St. - NW 21st Av. - NW Northrup St. - NW 25th Av. - NW Pettygrove St. - NW Cumberland Rd. - NW Ariel Terr. & NW Cumberland Rd.

INTERURBAN ROUTES

Operator: Portland Electric Power Company

BG Bellrose - Gresham SW 1st Av. & Washington St. - SW 1st Av. [back: SW 2nd St.] - Hawthorne Bridge - Sellwood - Bellrose - Gresham
OC Oregon City SW 1st Av. & Washington St. - SW 1st Av. [back: SW 2nd St.] - Hawthorne Bridge - Sellwood - Oak Grove - Oregon City

Note: The two-letter route designations are for the convenience of readers only, and were not used by the operators.


CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SYSTEM

NETWORK LENGTH

  • Streetcar line: ? km.
  • Interurban lines: ? km.


HISTORY

  • Horse-trams: 1872 - May 1892
  • Cable cars: 1890 - 1904
  • Streetcars: (1) 17 Nov. 1889 - 28 Feb. 1950; (2) 20 July 2001 - today
  • Interurbans (electric): 1890 - 25 Jan. 1958
  • Light rail: 5 Sept. 1986 - today
  • Aerial tramway (Cable car): 15 Dec. 2006 - today

GAUGE

  • Original streetcars (except for the Sellwood line): 1067 mm.
  • Interurbans and the Sellwood streetcar line: 1435 mm.
  • Light rail and modern streetcars: 1435 mm.

TRAM PRESERVATION

The Oregon Electric Railway Museum (near Salem, south of Portland) and the Willamette Shore Trolley (between lake Oswego and Portland) run vintage Portland streetcars on museum tracks.


SOURCES

PRINT

  • Fox, G. "LRT v. buses: Why Portland chose light rail", Tramways & Urban Transit, Oct. 2009 (72: 862), p.390-392.
  • Labbe, J.T. Fares Please! - Those Portland Trolley Years. Caldwell (ID): Caxton, 1980.
  • Lietwiler, C. "Portland: Light rail paves the way to a finer future", Tramways & Urban Transit, Jan. 1998 (61: 721), p.18-20.
  • Lietwiler, C. "Portland: Now there are four light rail lines", Tramways & Urban Transit, Aug. 2004 (67: 800), p.298-299.
  • Lietwiler, C. "Portland: Planning 50 years ahead", Tramways & Urban Transit, Feb. 1998 (61: 722), p.369-375.
  • Richard, T. Portland's streetcars. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
  • Simons, V. "Portland: Green meets Orange", Tramways & Urban Transit, Dec. 2015 (78: 936), p.473-478.
  • Simons, V. "Portland just gets better and better", Tramways & Urban Transit, Nov. 2009 (72: 863), p.420-423.
  • Simons, V. "Portland: LRT pathfinder looks to the future", Tramways & Urban Transit, May 2013 (76: 905), p.170-174.
  • Taplin, M.R. "Portland: The streetcar makes a welcome comeback", Tramways & Urban Transit, Oct. 2001 (64: 766), p.369-375.
  • Wilson, D., Morgan, S. & Clark B. "MAX takes off in Portland", Modern Tramway & Light Rail Transit, May 1987 (50: 593), p.154-165.
  • Thompson, R. Portland's interurban railway. Charleston (NC): Arcadia Publishing, 2012

WIKIS

WEB SITES


Special thanks to Russell Powers from Denver CO for information on the history of the Portland system.


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Copyright Gabor Sandi 1998-2019

Disclaimer: Everything on this site was written and/or prepared at the author's discretion. The author has tried to be accurate where facts are presented, but this does not mean that these facts are necessarily accurate. People needing more reliable information should refer to appropriate sources presented, on the Internet or elsewhere, by authoritative professional or academic bodies.

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