Streetcars

High Street 1914
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Streetcar Colors
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Columbus Railway Power & Light Co. car 703 freshly restored at the Ohio Railway Museum in the 1960's. 703 was one of a series of 23 cars that were the last new streetcars purchased for the Columbus streetcar system. They were built by the Kulhman Car Co. of Cleveland, Ohio in 1925. Photo by Dave Bunge

Columbus Electric Streetcars - 1888-1948

        In 1888 an experimental electric streetcar line was built in Columbus, Ohio.  It ran on Chittenden Avenue from High Street to the State Fairgrounds, a distance of about half a mile.  From that shaky start it only took until 1892 to completely replace the horsecars.  The advantages in speed, cleanliness, increased capacity and economy caused officials to put those horses to pasture as fast as they could. For the next 54 years Columbus would rely on the electric streetcar for basic transportation around the city and to promote city growth. 
        The name for the streetcar company changed over the years.  At the time of the conversion to electric there were two companies, The Columbus Consolidated Street Railway Company which was the dominant company and the Glenwood & Green Lawn Railroad Company which ran the West Broad Street and Green Lawn cemetery lines.  As soon as the G&GLR Co. electrified it was taken over by the CCSR Co. 
        In 1892 the CCSR Co. was reorganized as the Columbus Street Railway Company.  In 1893, in another move the streetcar and electric light business was brought together and called the Columbus Railway & Light Company.  In 1904 the company became the Columbus Railway, Power & Light Company.  In 1937 the company became known as the  Columbus and Southern Ohio Electric Company.
        In 1933 a modernization program was started that introduced trolley coach and motor bus service.  This transition away from streetcars was completed in September, 1948.  This fifteen year modernization program is described in 1948 End of The Streetcar Era