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Old Posted Mar 30, 2009, 9:08 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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Detroit Transit History: The Detroit Citizens' Railway (1976 - 2003)

I thought I'd make a post on Detroit's former vintage trolley line. Originally constructed as the Detroit Citizen's Railway, the 3/4 mile line was completed in 1976 as part of a way to revitalize a five-block section of Washington Boulevard, downtown Detroit's historic, upscale shopping avenue which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Along with the addition of the trolley, the street was also turned into a pedestrian mall. They line was extended by 1/4 a mile in 1980 so as to reach then recently-completed Renaissance Center. It was operated by the Detroit Department of Transportation in a sidewalk right-of-way.

The line include nine narrow-gauge trolleys, seven of which were imported from Lisbon, Portugal, one was a Swiss car, and the last a double-decker car from England. In all, the system cost $2.72 million to build. It posted a peak ridership year in 1979 with 75,000 passengers for that year, but by 1998 it only recorded a little over 3,000 riders. By 2001, there was only one car still in use, with it only operating once per hour.

The city announced in late October of 2003 that it'd be discontinuing the system to reopen (fully) traffic to Washington Boulevard, and sell off the cars. The trolley barn in Washington Boulevard was demolished in 2004. Apparently, some of the old railcars sit abandoned in one of DDOT's garages, and the ones sent to Seattle to be refurbished, were, but haven't made it back to the city. Actually, no one really knows where those ones are.


railwaypreservation.com


railwaypreservation.com


railwaypreservation.com

Deconstruction, originally announced under the guise of sending the cars for 'refurbishing' in Seattle. They never returned.


railwaypreservation.com

The reconstructed avenue the cars used to go down since the reconstruction:


wyliepoon

Boulevard on the right


radiospike photography
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Last edited by LMich; Mar 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM.
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Old Posted Mar 30, 2009, 9:27 AM
Don B. Don B. is offline
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That's really a shame. Thanks for sharing, though.

--don
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2009, 7:38 PM
canucklehead2 canucklehead2 is offline
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Truly sad but things do sound like they are looking up for Detroit with the LRT project...

Btw, does anyone have a map of the unbuilt Detroit subway project that dates back to the 40's?
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2009, 6:07 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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I've heard about the rumored subway project, but I don't believe it was anything ever formally proposed.

BTW, here's the old street car system map from the 40's



And, the current bus system map as of 2008

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Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 5:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead2 View Post
Truly sad but things do sound like they are looking up for Detroit with the LRT project...

Btw, does anyone have a map of the unbuilt Detroit subway project that dates back to the 40's?

Nothing was ever constructed of the subway, but was VERY close to being built....over 60 miles of tunnel. Basically, it went through the same kind of political B.S. Detroit puts up with today, only 80 years ago.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 8:03 AM
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LMich LMich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayward View Post
Nothing was ever constructed of the subway, but was VERY close to being built....over 60 miles of tunnel. Basically, it went through the same kind of political B.S. Detroit puts up with today, only 80 years ago.
Do you have any info on this? I've heard about it time and time, again, but I've never been able to substantiated that a subway system/line was ever actually proposed, let alone close to being built.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2009, 2:14 PM
Exodus Exodus is offline
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I forgot where I read it because it's been quite a while, but I do remember it being a credible source. Several miles were built, including at least a few incomplete stations. The tunnels are now used for utilitie lines or something like that, and the evidence of what was a station entrence I know at least used to be on W. Jefferson in Del Ray.
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