Images of America Manchester Streetcars by OR Cummings Soft Cover
Images of America Manchester Streetcars by OR Cummings Soft Cover
Images of America Manchester Streetcars by OR Cummings Soft Cover
Images of America Manchester Streetcars by OR Cummings Soft Cover

Images of America Manchester Streetcars by OR Cummings Soft Cover

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Images of America Manchester Streetcars by OR Cummings Soft Cover
 
Images of America Manchester Streetcars
BY O.R. CUMMINGS and the Manchester Historic Association
127 pages softcover

CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1.The Horsecar Era: 1877-1894
2.Queen City Trolleys
3.The North End to Goffe's Falls
4.Branch Lines
5.Traction, Canal, and Granite Streets
7. Uncanoonuc
8.Rapid Transit Lines
9.Farewell

INTRODUCTION
The streetcar era in New Hampshire's largest city began on September 15, 1877. On this day, the Manchester Horse Railroad Company commenced operation over its initial 2.5-mile route from Elm and Webster Streets in the North End to South Main and Varney Streets on the West Side. It ended nearly 63 years later, on May 25, 1940, when the last trolleys were run over the remaining seven lines of the Manchester Street Railway. Just three years earlier, on December 31, 1937, the Manchester Street Railway had been absorbed by the Public Service Company of New Hampshire. Motor bus operation was inaugurated on May 26, 1940, by the Public Service Company and continues to be maintained today by the Manchester Transit Authority, which began operation in 1973.
Expansion of the horsecar system began as early as 1878. By mid-1893, the Manchester Street Railway, which had succeeded the Manchester Horse Railroad Company in 1889, owned nearly 10 miles of 3-foot gauge track. All existing lines were electrified in 1895, when the track was changed to the standard 4-foot-8.5-inch gauge. During the next 12 years, the trolley network grew steadily: new lines were being built within the Queen City itself, from Manchester to Goffstown, from Manchester to Nashua, and from Manchester to Derry. The very last extension was opened in November 1912. As of June 30, 1913, the Manchester Street Railway and its affiliates (the Manchester & Nashua and the Manchester & Derry Street Railways, all subsidiaries of the Manchester Traction, Light, & Power Company) provided electric car service over 49,223 miles of first main track, 10,079 miles of second main track, and 5,280 miles of sidings and turnouts, totaling 65.252 miles of track. Collectively, the three companies owned 51 closed cars and 54 open cars. The open cars were used during the summer months, when there was heavy riding to and from a pavilion and theater at Massabesic Lake and the very popular pleasure resort Pine Island Park, which opened in 1902 at Goffe's Falls.
Connections were made at the Manchester-Hooksett boundary with the Concord & Manchester Electric Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad; at Shirley Junction on South Mast Street, Goffstown, with the Uncanoonuc Incline Railway and Development Company; at Derry with the Chester & Derry Railroad; and at Hudson with the Nashua Division of the Bay State Street Railway and the Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway. Indeed, it was possible at this time to continue by trolley from Hudson to Boston via Lowell, and from Hudson to Salisbury, Seabrook, and Hampton Beaches on to Portsmouth.
Both the horsecar and trolley lines provided year-round vital and reliable local transportation within the Queen City for a long time. Passenger traffic on the Manchesterincreased almost annually from 1890 to 1917, when 12,658,888 riders were carriedan all-time
high. After fluctuating for six years, patronage declined steadily after 1923 as a result of growing competition from private automobiles, which rolled off assembly lines in ever-increasing numbers and at progressively more attractive prices during the Roaring Twenties.
The never-profitable Manchester & Derry Street Railway was abandoned in August 1926; the Manchester & Nashua discontinued service in September 1931; and the Concord Electric Railways, formerly the Concord & Manchester Electric Branch, called it quits in April 1933-bus service being substituted on all three routes. Because of deteriorating track conditions, trolleys on part of the Manchester-Goffstown line were replaced by motor coaches on January 8,1938. On April 1, 1939, the Public Service Company of New Hampshire, which had absvorbed the Manchester Traction, Light, & Power Company in 1926, petitioned the state Public Service Commission for authority to motorize the remaining streetcar routes. The commission flashed the green light on January 31, 1940, and the last trolleys pulled into the carbams before midnight on Saturday, May 25, 1940.
Today, six decades later, only Manchester's senior citizens remember the streetcar era in the Queen City, and few traces of the former trolley lines remain. Fortunately, three Manchester streetcars have been preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, and two of them have been restored to as near their original condition as possible. Street Railway
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
There was a time when streetcars were a vital part of daily life in Manchester. From 1877 until 1940; horsecars and trolleys glided up and down the principal streets of the Queen City. Today, only a few of Manchester's residents remember those days. Now, you can enjoy a ride with them in Manchester Streetcars, an unforgettable journey over the rails of long ago.
By 1892, Manchester had a fine, extensive horsecar system, which was electrified three years later. Expansion began in 1896 and through 1907, the network of tracks grew steadily, with new lines not only serving the Queen City but also radiating to Goffstown, Concord, Nashua, and Derry. More than one hundred closed and open cars provided vital local transportation during the peak years of the trolley era. These pages intimately describe the railway companies and the cars that made street travel in New Hampshire's largest city and vicinity so pleasant and so memorable for six decades.
O.R. Cummings is member of the New England Electric Railway Historical Society and the Manchester Historic Association. A retired journalist, he is the author of numerous histories of New England street railways, including Images of America: York County Trolleys.


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