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Part 4 of 5 Parts

In late 1929, the last standard gauge (4' 8½") lines in the Crescent City were converted to wide gauge (5' 2½").  This removed the last obstacle to a complete rebuilding of the Canal Street trackage.  This was part of a general beautification of Canal Street.  The sidewalks were widened from 18 to 21 feet.  The sidewalks and neutral ground were repaved with white terrazzo having pink sections on the borders and marking the crosswalks, all separated into squares delineated by brass strips and polished by machines using carborundum stones.  The roadways were narrowed from 37 to 35 feet, and were completely rebuilt with a concrete foundation and asphalt surface, with granite curbing set on concrete piers; this left a 59 foot wide neutral ground.  108 ornamental street light poles were installed, which also served to support the trolley span wires, producing ten times as much illumination as the old lighting.  All overhead cables such as electric and telephone were buried underground.  The entire drainage system was rebuilt, along with the water lines.  And obsolete tracks, such as the old center track, were removed.

The project got under way just before Thanksgiving 1929.  Canal St. merchants were assured that it would not interfere with Christmas shopping, and in fact by December 15, enough of the roadways and sidewalks were completed to honor the promise.  The first track work was the construction of a loop terminus around the block of Crozat, Iberville, and Liberty Streets, allowing cars to run in on Canal and return at this point.  From December 26 to February 14, except for a brief period in late January, all through Canal Street routes were turned back at this point, and the three inner tracks between Crozat and Peters were completely removed and rebuilt as two tracks.  Both the Canal-Esplanade and the St. Charles-Tulane belt lines were cut and turned back at Canal Street, operating end-to-end rather than as belts.  Normal traffic was maintained on all the other lines, which ran on the outer Canal Street tracks for only a few blocks each, even while the outer tracks were also rebuilt.  The now-excess rail for standard gauge operation was, of course, removed.  The eight track layover area and the two loops at the Liberty Monument were also removed, and were replaced by a four track layover area and a single loop.  Then between January 17 and February 5, all Canal Street routes used the outer tracks between Claiborne and Crozat, while the three inner tracks in this stretch were also removed and rebuilt as two.  On February 5, the new inner tracks were put into service between Claiborne and Crozat, and permanent removal of the outer tracks between Claiborne and Rampart was begun.  On February 14, work had progressed far enough for all lines to assume their permanent routes.  All work on tracks and paving was completed by February 24, in time for Mardi Gras Carnival.  The loop on Crozat, Iberville, and Liberty was retained for use of Spanish Fort trains, in place of the old terminus on S. Rampart Street.

The new tracks on Canal Street utilized a construction technique which was unique at the time.  For one thing, long rail lengths were used, instead of short ones bolted together, and even the joints between the sections of rail were thermite welded.  Instead of wooden ties, the rails were supported by a continuous concrete base, with resilient rail anchors every four feet, and steel bars between and supporting the rails.  The rail suspensions were isolated from the surrounding concrete so as to reduce vibrations and noise from the tracks.

This rebuilding produced a streamlined track system on Canal Street.  Through lines, operating the length of the street, used the inner track riverbound past Peters, where they switched to the outer track and circled the Liberty Monument; on the other side of the loop, the other three tracks were used as a layover area, with all cars switching to the inner lakebound track just before reaching Peters.  The outer tracks between Peters and Rampart were used for short distances by other lines; some one-block stretches, in fact, were not used in regular revenue service at all.  The line using Tchoupitoulas* Street was a special case: it came down S. Peters and turned right onto Canal, traversed the loop at the Liberty Monument, then came out the outer track to Peters and turned left to proceed uptown on Tchoupitoulas.  All stub end terminals and all but three streetcar left turns in the Canal Street area were eliminated.

Click here to view a map of Canal Street trackage in 1930.

*Pronounced “chop-i-too-lus”.

Picture 221.5.
Construction in progress, January 11, 1930.  The photographer is looking toward the river from about Peters/Tchoupitoulas.  The left-turn curve for streetcars to enter Tchoupitoulas Street is noticeable at the left.  One of the crossover tracks is prominent next to the turn.  We have a good view of the supports for the rails.  In the center of the photo, we can see two linemen on ladders which presumably are leaning on the trolley wire (which almost certainly is not energized).  The walkway to the ferry is seen in the left rear of the photo.  The new ornamental street lights are in place along the edges of the neutral ground. — “Canal Street” folder, Louisiana Image collection, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University
Pictures 222, 223, and 224.
These three views show Canal Street after the 1929 rebuilding, looking out toward the lake.  In the uppermost view, which has a 1939 postmark, we can see Camp Street at the lower left; St. Charles/Royal is the next intersection, and is the closest intersection in the lowest view.  Especially in the upper picture, we can see that track on Royal no longer crosses Canal into St. Charles, but turns and connects to the outer track on Canal, as do the tracks on all the uptown streets (Camp and St. Charles, for example).  This was the pattern from Peters all the way out to Rampart.  (At Carondelet, the downbound track connected to both the inner and outer Canal tracks.  The inner-track connection was used by Tulane Belt cars.)  Note how the inner tracks on Canal are closer together, leaving room for right-hand-door passenger boarding space.  All the streetcars visible are arch roofed, and belong to the 400 or 800-900 classes. — E. C. Kropp Co. (upper), C. B. Mason (lower)

The middle picture is made from the same photograph as the upper, but it is interesting to compare the two and see how the upper picture has been retouched.  There are enough similarities of trivial details, such as the positions of some of the pedestrians, to be sure that they began from the same photograph.  But the upper has clearly been retouched — for example, the streetcar in the center foreground position is more crude than its counterpart in the middle picture, and some of the automobile traffic in the right foreground has been painted out. — Giant Card Co. (middle)

Picture 225.
In this view, postmarked 1933, the photographer is standing at the St. Charles/Royal intersection, looking out toward Carondelet/Bourbon.  Note the four-track crossover in the middle of the block.  (Compare Pictures 98, 99, and 100, in five-track days.) — E. C. Kropp Co.
Picture 225.3.
This view of Canal Street came from a 1930 leaflet advertising New Orleans.  The caption recalled the “newer and finer Canal Street” which resulted from the $3,500,000 renovation program.  In the lower front of the picture, we are looking toward the lake at the intersection of Royal and St. Charles Streets with Canal; Maison Blanche is in the right background.  A Freret or S. Claiborne car is beginning its turn from the outer riverbound track into St. Charles Street.  The car next to it is probably a Tulane, Cemeteries, or West End car on the inner riverbound track.  Additional streetcars can be seen further out on Canal.  The four-track crossover between St. Charles/Royal and Carondelet/Bourbon is clearly visible. — New Orleans Association of Commerce
Picture 225.5.
A similar view of Canal Street, from a photo taken in the later 1930s or possibly the early '40s.  The nearest car is 417 at the St. Charles/Royal intersection, on Tulane Belt.  It has just turned in from Carondelet Street one block back.  The next nearest car is probably an 800, on Gentilly or Desire, with an 800 (probably) and a 400 nearby, passing each other.  Further out are more cars, including at least one more 400 (with the advertising sign on the "wrong" side of the front dash).  The car on the outer track, heading toward the river, would be an 800 on the St. Charles Belt, bound for Baronne St., or perhaps a 900 on Jackson.  All the 400s in sight would be Tulane Belt cars.  There's a bus turning from Canal into Burgundy.
Picture 225.7.
The companies that participated in the Canal Street rebuilding were justifiably proud of the accomplishment, and used it in their advertising.  Here is an ad from the Union Metal Manufacturing Co., featuring the ornamental light standards they supplied to the project.  These poles remain on Canal Street to the present day.  The company is also still in the business of providing street lighting standards.  That's car 817 passing the Saenger Theater at the lower right.
Picture 226.
This aerial view looks in toward the river some time between 1929 and 1934.  Rampart Street is the first intersection, at the outer end of the four-track section.  Note how the outer tracks now extend in only from Rampart.  The big signs for the Loew's and Saenger theaters face each other on Canal, with the old Southern Railway depot in the lower left corner of the picture. — Curt Teich & Co.
Picture 227.
Another view of Canal Street looking in toward the river from Basin Street/Elk Place.  We can see past the Saenger and Loew's theaters to Rampart Street.  Maison Blanche is still the tallest building in the view, with the Hotel Monteleone beyond it, inside the Vieux Carré (which is to our left, from Rampart in toward the river).  A bus can be seen riverbound on Canal at Rampart.  All the streetcars in sight are from the arch roofed classes, so this view is probably later rather than earlier in the 1929-1934 period. — Ray Cresson
Picture 228.
This 1930s view looks in toward the river from Crozat/Saratoga.  The curve in the foreground to the photographer's left leads into Crozat Street, to the loop for Spanish Fort trains.  The curve to the photographer's right is for the use of Tulane Belt cars, running via Saratoga from Canal St. to Tulane Ave.  These were two of only three streetcar left turns in Canal Street after the 1929 rebuilding.  The Southern Railway depot is at the left, with the Saenger and Loew's theaters beyond, across from each other.  Note how the R of Saenger is not yet blocked from view; compare Pictures 226 and 227, which must be later than this one. — E. C. Kropp Co.
Picture 229.
This 1930s view of Canal Street looks toward the lake, with the St. Charles/Royal Street intersection in the foreground.  There is about one streetcar in each direction in each block on the inner tracks, with two cars on the outer riverbound track in the center foreground waiting to turn into St. Charles Street to begin their runs uptown.  These are probably on the Freret and the South Claiborne lines.  The lakebound outer track (on our right) in this block was used by Gentilly, Desire, and City Park cars, but unfortunately, none of them are present at this moment.  Note the four-track crossover in this block of Canal.  All the streetcars in view are arch-roof types from the 800-900 series (or possibly the 400 series).  We again see Maison Blanche dominating the skyline of this view.  Somewhat closer, we can see signs for D. H. Holmes and for Maison Maurice, then a lighter sign saying Imperial Shoe Store.  In the right foreground is the sign for Marks Isaacs Co., and at the right edge of the picture, the sign pointing to the nearby Monteleone Hotel.  In the left foreground, just above the sign that says Diamonds, is part of one pointing up St. Charles Street to the St. Charles Hotel.  (This picture comes from a real-photo postcard. The blotchy appearance of the sky appears to be retouching applied to the negative before the picture was printed.)
Picture 229.2.
This is a slightly later view of Canal Street compared to the previous picture.  This one was taken in mid to late 1947, and looks in the opposite direction, toward the river.  Judging by the light dress of the pedestrians, the date might be in the summeer or early fall.  Notice the crowds waiting to board the streetcars.  The center tracks have at least one streetcar almost every block, on the Cemeteries, West End, and Tulane lines.  The nearest intersection is Bourbon St. at the left, Carondelet at the right.  Car 851 is turning from the outer Canal Street track into Bourbon on the Desire or Gentilly line, full of passengers.  An 800-series Tulane car is taking the switch from Carondelet onto the center track to head for the loop near the river.  The outbound car on the center track is car 907 signed West End, and the inbound car at that corner is 873 signed Cemeteries.  In the middle of the block between Carondelet and St. Charles on the outer track is car 951 on the S. Claiborne line.  There are two Magazine cars a couple of blocks ahead on the outer riverbound track, about to turn into their namesake street.  And in the distance, near the river, there's a Cemeteries, West End, or Tulane car starting around the loop.  White bus 1643 is turning from Carondelet into Canal St.  If this is a Freret bus, the date has to be before Freret trolley coach service started, on Sept. 3, 1947.  Many business signs are visible, including D. H. Holmes, Mayer Israel's, St. Charles Hotel, Monteleone Hotel, and lots more.  — Wilfred D'Aquin photo, New Orleans States-Item
Pictures 229.5 and 229.6.
In 1938, the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans hosted the Eighth National Eucharistic Congress.  This was a huge celebration involving the entire city.  These pictures show Canal Street decorated for the Congress.  Both are looking lakeward.  In the top photo, the closest intersection is with St. Charles and Royal Streets.  The bottom photo was taken from just in front of the Liberty Monument at the foot of Canal Street.  Perhaps the most striking thing about these pictures is the double line of palm trees along the neutral ground, since this part of Canal Street did not have trees of any kind in this period.  But a close inspection shows that there are three light globes sticking out of the palm fronds at the top of each “tree.”  The palms were actually built on the light poles!  A few of the light poles, including the one in the foreground of the bottom picture, were decorated to resemble a monstrance, with the logo of the Congress at the top.

In the center of the top picture, we see a pair of 400-class cars serving the Tulane Belt line on the center tracks, and to our right from the Tulane cars, an 800 (or possibly a 900) class car serving the Desire, Gentilly, or City Park line on the outer lakebound track.  Note the black stripe down the center of the silver roofs of the streetcars.  There is a spot just to our left from the roof of the Maison Blanche building.  A closeup look at this spot reveals that it has fins: it is an end view of a dirigible, and the fins are its gondola and motors.  (Click on either picture at the left for enlargements and two closeup views.) — International News Photo (bottom picture)

Picture 230.
Some time in the 1940s, Brill-built car 873 on the West End line pulls up toward a waiting passenger at Carondelet St. heading riverbound on the inner track.  She will board at the rear door.  Maison Blanche is seen in the background.  In the left foreground, we see part of the curve into the upbound Carondelet St. track.  At this time, this track was long out of regular service, although we can see that it still has a trolley wire.  But a close inspection shows that the slot for the wheel flange is filled with a long accumulation of dirt and debris.  Note the standard long-sleeve dress shirt and bow tie on the motorman, and the dressy clothes on the passenger.  In those days, when you went “to Canal Street,” you dressed up!
Picture 231.
Canal at Camp/Chartres, looking in toward the Custom House in the right background.  Car 406 is at the left, using the inner track outbound on the Tulane Belt line.  We know it is 406, and not 806 or 906, by the position of the advertising sign on the front dash.  At the right of the center, car 413 is on the inbound inner track, heading for the loop, also on the Tulane Belt.  Note the track curves in the foreground, connecting the outer track on Canal Street to the tracks on Camp Street.  The curve at the right was used by the Magazine line to enter Canal Street for the one-block run to Magazine Street at the Canal Street end of the line; however, no Magazine cars are in sight just now.  The automobiles date this picture to the 1930s or early '40s.  The Lions Club must have been having a convention, for which the city displayed their logo and banners on the light poles.  The National Convention of the Lions was held in New Orleans July 22-25, 1941, so that is most likely the date of this picture.  We see that the gentlemen are mostly wearing suits and hats, despite the summer heat.  (My thanks to Larry Lovejoy for providing the information on the Lions convention, and to Morris Hill for pointing out the information on the advertising signs of 400-, 800-, and 900-series cars.)
Picture 232.
A gentleman alights from Tulane Belt car 411 under the watchful eye of the motorman in this 1936 view with Maison Blanche in the background.  The streetcar has just turned from Carondelet Street into Canal, taking the inner track, and is stopped at St. Charles Street.  It will proceed to the loop at the foot of Canal, and return on the inner track to Saratoga (see Picture 228), where it will turn into Tulane Avenue to begin its next trip.  Cars 400-449 were built in 1915 by the Southern Car Co. of High Point, NC.  They were the first arch roof motor cars in New Orleans.  The Tulane and St. Charles Belt lines were typical assignments for them.  The cars of the later 800-972 and 1000-1019 classes were refined versions of the 400-449 class.  The 400s were scrapped in 1948.  Note the sliding front door; the 800s, 900s, and 1000s had folding front doors.  The sign on the dash, behind the alighting passenger, reads “Please Help The Service Have Exact Fare Ready”.
Picture 233.
The motorman of Cemeteries car 839, a 1922 product of Perley Thomas, catches a breath of fresh air in the front window as he awaits the traffic light on Canal Street at the St. Charles/Royal intersection, some time in the summer of 1942.  The car is riverbound on the inner track.  The car next to 839 is on the Freret or S. Claiborne line, on the outer track, and will turn right up St. Charles Street when the traffic light permits.  The track at the far right, the outer lakebound track, is used for one block by the Desire and Gentilly cars, which come up Royal Street at this point and return down Bourbon Street.
Picture 233.5.
Crowded car 904 is boarding still more passengers on the Cemeteries or the West End line in this February 1949 picture.  Note the winter coats, which are about as heavy as one needs in New Orleans.  But some of the passengers have chosen to open windows next to their seats.
Pictures 234, 234.3, 234.6, and 235.
South Claiborne cars 920, 925, and 906 star in these pictures as they board passengers on the outer track of Canal Street prior to turning right and following St. Charles Street up to Lee Circle.  The date of the first three photos is June 10, 1947.  In the upper picture, we also see a Cemeteries, West End, or Tulane car on our right, on the inner lakebound track, stopped at the Carondelet/Bourbon intersection.  Three streetcars and two White buses show in the second picture.  At the right is a car on one of the Canal lines, West End or Cemeteries.  In the center is car 920 on the S. Claiborne line, with the motorman looking to his right to be sure he has a clear track to turn to his right up St. Charles Street.  In the background, between those two streetcars, we see another on either the Desire or the Gentilly line, turning from the outer lakebound track into Bourbon Street.  And at our left, there are two White buses, the front one signed for the Freret line.  Freret had been converted from streetcars to buses temporarily on Dec. 1, 1946, while trolley coach wires were built for its reconversion to TCs on Sept. 3, 1947.  The third picture also shows a Desire or Gentilly car on the outer lakebound track, stopped for passengers before turning right into the Vieux Carré on Bourbon Street.  Note the station wagon at the left edge of the third picture, with what appears to be a wood body.  This is the first all-steel station wagon, introduced in 1946 by Willys Overland.  The steel body was painted to look like the traditional wood station wagon body.  (Thanks to Morris Hill for the information on the Willys.)  The fourth picture features S. Claiborne car 906 preparing to turn up St. Charles Street, with Tulane car 443 waiting to continue in toward the loop.  Behind car 443 we see a West End or Cemeteries car.  This photo is a little earlier than the other three, dating to March 10, 1943.  Note the double trolley wire over car 906.  This eliminated the need for the trolley contact to pass over switches in the trolley wire. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos (first three), Waldemar Sievers photo (bottom)
Pictures 235.2 and 235.3.
Both the Desire and the Gentilly lines approached Canal Street via Royal Street.  The upper picture features car 885 on the Desire Line, and the lower picture shows car 891 in Gentilly service, June 10, 1947, about to enter Canal Street.  Both of these cars were Brill products.  The cars will follow the track in the foreground, turning into the outer lakebound track, and will proceed one block to Bourbon Street.  Royal Street is flanked by the Royal Jewelry on the left and National Shirt Shops on the right.  The panel delivery truck in the right foreground of the upper picture is a 1936 Willys.  The smoke cloud suggests that its engine must have been near the end of its life.  Note the paving blocks that line the rails laid in the asphalt street. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos
Pictures 235.5 through 235.8.
After turning into Canal Street from Royal, Gentilly and Desire cars went out the outer track one block to Bourbon, where they loaded passengers and then turned down Bourbon Street to commence their next downbound (outbound) runs—Gentilly cars to Almonaster and Franklin Avenues in the Gentilly neighborhood, Desire cars to Desire and France Streets.  Gentilly was one of the few New Orleans streetcar lines named for the neighborhood it served rather than the street(s) it traversed.  The top picture features Gentilly car 884.  The second picture shows off Desire car 903, with Tulane car 806 outbound on the inner track.  It was unusual to see a 900-class car on Desire; more typically, the service was provided by 800-class cars.  At this time, 900s were mostly seen on uptown lines operating out of Arabella Station, but a few low-numbered 900s had been assigned to Canal Station, which housed Desire and Gentilly cars.  The third picture stars Gentilly car 886; note the crowd waiting for the next car on the inner track.  In the fourth picture, we see Gentilly car 897, with another car (presumably in Desire service) in front of it, both cars loading passengers, and Cemeteries car 820 on the inner track at the left.  These four pictures are all dated June 10, 1947. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos
Pictures 236, 237, and 238.
For over 50 years, from Feb. 19, 1900 to Jan. 8, 1951, the St. Charles and Tulane lines operated as belts, with St. Charles being the clockwise side of the loop, and Tulane the counter-clockwise side.  Putting it another way, cars leaving Canal Street for St. Charles Ave. were marked St. Charles, and cars leaving Canal Street for Tulane Ave. were marked Tulane.  One small difference was that, after the 1929 rebuilding of the Canal Street trackage, Tulane served the loop at the foot of Canal, while St. Charles did not.  In the upper picture, we are looking out at car 407.  Cars 402 and 841 are working in the middle picture, which also looks toward the lake.  The lower picture features car 424, looking in toward the river.  All three pictures were taken on Canal Street at University Place on Tuesday, June 10, 1947.  Car 841 is on the West End line, and the other cars are signed for St. Charles.  They had come in to Canal Street via Tulane Ave. and S. Liberty Street, and are operating on the outer track to Baronne St., where they will turn uptown to Howard Ave. to return to St. Charles Ave. at Lee Circle.  Note the wood-bodied station wagon parked at the curb on the right in the bottom picture. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos
Picture 238.5.
These two cars are paused at the Dauphine/University Place intersection, heading toward the river, about 1942.  St. Charles car 407, at the right, will continue one more block on Canal Street, then turn right into Baronne to begin its run out St. Charles Avenue.  Cemeteries car 832, in the War Bonds livery, will continue in on Canal to the terminal loop at the Liberty Monument.  The Maison Blanche building is on the left in the next block.
Pictures 239 and 239.5.
Tulane Belt cars 800 and 808 wait for the traffic light, riverbound on the inner tracks of Canal Street, Tuesday, June 10, 1947. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos
Picture 240.
After Jan. 8, 1951, when the St. Charles and Tulane lines were separated, St. Charles cars used Carondelet to approach Canal Street, then came in one block as seen here and turned up St. Charles Street to return to Lee Circle, as the line still operates today.  This photo looks out toward the lake from St. Charles Street.  Car 892 at our left, signed St. Charles, is just about to turn off of Canal Street to begin its next upbound (outbound) run.  Car 920 at our right is outbound on the Canal line.  It is probably December; note the light pole decorated as a Christmas tree with a star on top, at the right, and the winter coats and jackets on the people.  Car 892 was scrapped in February 1955, so this photo must have been taken in December of 1951 to 1954.
Picture 240.3.
The conductor of Cemeteries car 850, run number 20, is loading a passenger at the rear door, which he is about to close, June 10, 1947.  The car is on the inner lakebound track at Camp/Chartres Streets.  In the distance, we see other inner track cars, both riverbound and lakebound, and at the far right, a Desire or Gentilly car on the outer track between Royal and Bourbon Streets. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo
Picture 240.6.
Magazine cars approached Canal Street on Camp.  In this June 10, 1947 picture, car 964 is just arriving with a load of passengers at its Canal Street terminal.  It will turn from Camp Street into the outer Canal Street track, proceed one block toward the river, and turn right again into Magazine Street to begin its next upbound trip.
Picture 240.8.
A passenger exits the rear door of Tulane car 420 under the careful gaze of the conductor, who is grasping the bell cord ready to signal his motorman as soon as the passenger has safely alighted, June 10, 1947.  The car is on the inner track, riverbound at Magazine St.  The car in front of 420 is probably an 800-class car on the Cemeteries or West End line.  Note how the rear doors are folding doors, but the front doors are sliding doors, on the 400-class cars.  The Weil Bros. Co., seen at the right at the corner of Canal and Magazine, was a manufacturer of hats and a wholesaler of hats and dresses. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo
Picture 241.
A true nighttime picture of Canal Street, showing several streetcars.  The two on the outer track, to our right in the picture, are car 440 on the St. Charles Belt line, closer to us, and car 816, in front of 440.  To our left, on the inner track, we see car 612 (visible between 440 and 816), and behind 612, an unidentified 800 or 900 series car.  The presence of a 600 series car dates the picture to the early 1930s, as the last of the 600-700 series “Palace” cars was scrapped in 1935.
Pictures 242 and 242.2.
Three arch-roof cars await departure time on the layover tracks at the foot of Canal Street in each of these pictures.  In the upper photo, car 443, built by Southern Car Co., is run number 7 on the Tulane Belt line.  Brill-built cars 852 and 864 are on Canal Street lines: 852 is run 33 on the long West End line, and 864 is run 3 on the Canal-Cemeteries line.  When they depart, 443 and 864 will take the crossovers to switch to the lakebound inner track, on which 852 is waiting.  In the lower photo, dated April 1937, we see Brill-built car 815 on Tulane Belt at the left, holding down run number 32, and showing a Car House destination sign.  Perley Thomas car 901 on the center track is West End run number 53, and Thomas-built car car 926 at the right is Cemeteries run number 4.  At the far right of the lower photo, we see the fourth track, leading to the loop.  This is a rare photo of car 901 in passenger service.  On November 15, 1949, cars 901 and 917 collided head-on in fog on the West End line, and were retired.
Pictures 242.5 and 242.6.
These two pictures were probably taken by the same photographer a few minutes apart, but we do not know his name.  The upper photo was taken from the ferry walkway, and the lower from street level.  In each picture, there is a Tulane car at the left, starting to make its way around the loop.  The other three tracks are used for layover after cars come around the loop.  The second track from the left holds Cemeteries cars; West End cars appear on the next track, while the rightmost track holds Tulane cars.  From left to right, the upper photo features cars 437 on Tulane, 871 on Cemeteries, 827 on West End, with 418 on Tulane at the right.  The lower photo shows cars 402 on Tulane at the left, then 857 on Cemeteries, 870 on West End, and 448 on Tulane.  These pictures probably were taken in the late 1940s.  Looking at the right side of the upper photo, note how cars on the center tracks are spaced only about a block apart.  There was certainly plenty of service!
Picture 242.8.
This 1961 photo gives us a good view of the area around the loop at the foot of Canal Street.  We see car 949 traversing the loop.  At the far right is the ramp to the upper level of the ferry landing (from which several of the other photos on this page were taken).  Many of the buildings in the picture can be found in these other photos, most notably the Custom House, the building with rounded corners and a peak standing above the center of the facade.  At the left edge of the picture, Common Street intersects Canal at an acute angle.  Note the standard-gauge steam railroad tracks across Canal Street in the foreground.
Pictures 243 and 243.5.
Tulane cars 422 and 449, highest number of its class, lay over on Canal after traversing the loop, probably some time in the 1940s.  Through the windows, we can clearly see the varnished wood slat seat backs common to all the arch roof motor cars in New Orleans.  The cars are on the outer lakebound track.  When they depart for their next runs out Tulane Ave., they will take the crossover (out of sight in front of the cars) to the inner track, which they will follow out to Saratoga Street to Tulane Ave.  Notice the sign for the New Orleans Branch Factory behind the cars—whatever that is!  Unfortunately, 1940s color photography did not always produce perfect results or long-lasting stability, as can be seen by comparing these two pictures.  They appear to have been taken by the same photographer standing in the same spot at about the same time, but they have different printing histories, and so have different color stabilities.
Pictures 244 and 245.
These 1931 pictures were taken at the loop at the foot of Canal Street as the cars, having traversed the loop, awaited departure time for their next trips.  In the upper photo, rebuilt “Palace” car 608 is serving the West End line, one of the group of lines that operated the length of Canal Street.  “Palace” cars 600-617 were rebuilt in 1923 as shown here, with steel-sheathed sides, larger platforms, air-operated doors, and equipment for trailer hauling for rush hour service on the Canal Street lines.  The lower photo shows another of the rebuilt “Palace” cars pulling one of the trailers used in this service, “Coleman” trailer 528.  The “Coleman” trailers 525-536 were built in 1891 by the H. Dudley Coleman & Co. Foundry for the New Orleans City & Lake RR Co. for train service on the West End line (and later the Spanish Fort line).  They had several modern features, such as their length (52 feet), double trucks, and arch roofs.  They were rebuilt several times over their service lifetime, the last time in 1923 to this appearance.  The “Colemans” were among the last trailers in New Orleans, being scrapped in 1934.
Pictures 246 and 247.
These two pictures show Perley Thomas cars awaiting departure time at the foot of Canal Street after a trip around the loop.  The upper view features car 844 in 1931, and the lower shows car 818 on Monday, Sept. 3, 1934 on the Tulane Belt line.  The track in the foreground of the lower picture is the outer riverbound track.  Car 818 appears to be using the inner riverbound track as a third lakebound layover track, counting the regular lakebound outer and inner tracks as the first two.  Compare these pictures of the Perley Thomas cars when they were only 9 and 12 years old to later pictures of the 800-900 series cars, such as Pictures 303-324 below.
Picture 248.
This photograph, dated Saturday, July 1, 1933, shows us Canal Street below the end of the streetcar tracks, toward the river.  From 1904 to 1925, double track was present here to take streetcars to the ferry landing.  In the middle distance, just left of center, we can see the Liberty Monument, around which streetcars looped.  At the right is the covered pedestrian walkway to the ferry terminal.  The Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot is to the right, behind the ferry walkway.  Incidentally, at the beginning of the movie A Streetcar Named Desire, this is the spot where Blanche exits the railroad depot and a kindly sailor helps her find the right streetcar, a “streetcar named Desire.”  The only problem is that playwright Tennessee Williams got the directions backwards!  Blanche says she has been told to take a Desire streetcar and transfer to one marked Cemeteries, and sure enough, a Desire streetcar comes around the loop and she boards — an obviously staged shot.  But Desire cars never ran to the loop.  The correct directions would have been to take a car marked Cemeteries and transfer to one named Desire.  But it sounds better the way Williams wrote it!
Picture 248.5.
This is a 1956 view of Canal Street below the end of the streetcar tracks.  We can see one streetcar at the loop terminal, just left of the center of the picture.  The approaches to the Canal St. ferry are prominent at the right, with plenty of cars lined up to take the trip to the other side of the Mississippi.  The walkway above provided access to the ferry for pedestrians.  Note the ice cream vendor pedalling his three-wheeled freezer in search of customers.  Just behind him is what appears to be a “woodie” station wagon.  The sign projecting from the walkway reads:
Pictures 249 and 250.
This aerial view of the city features Canal Street diagonally from the river (lower center-left) out toward the lake (upper right).  The upper view is from a colored linen postcard; the lower is from a real photo postcard, and so is sharper, but is only black-and-white.  In both pictures, uptown (upriver) is to the left, downtown (downriver) to the right.  On the river, we see a traditional paddlewheel riverboat at the left (compare it to the one in Picture 1), the Canal Street ferry (cars and pedestrians) in the middle, and an oceangoing freighter at the right.  Just inland of the ferry and the freighter's dock we can see the Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot, and to its left, the pedestrian walkway that led from Canal Street up to second story level to the ferry building.  Just left of the depot we can see the grassy shape of the streetcar loop, with numerous streetcars spread along the street out from that point.  The Vieux Carré (French Quarter) is to the right of Canal, although from this vantage point, one cannot get the true flavor of the Quarter.  The tall buildings of the financial district show on the uptown side of Canal Street (to our left).  The largest building to the right of Canal is Maison Blanche, which blocks our view of Canal Street for a distance; beyond it, we see the grassy neutral ground that is found on Canal beyond Claiborne.  In the distance, we seem to be able to see all the way to Lake Ponchartrain, although that may be darkroom trickery.  In fact, Canal Street does not extend out that far. — Louisiana News Co. (upper)

There was still plenty of streetcar activity on Canal Street, but from here on the operation was mostly downhill.  New Orleans was not, of course, immune from the general decline in transit patronage of the period, nor from the conversion of rail lines to rubber tired vehicles.

In 1934, stub end terminal operation in the Canal Street area returned, when the St. Claude line became the last surviving line to use N. Rampart Street.  This line then terminated on N. Rampart at Canal without entering Canal Street at all, until it was converted to trolley coaches in 1949.

Click here to view a map of Canal Street trackage in 1939.

The riverbound outer track was extended in 1947 from Rampart out to Liberty for a minor rerouting of the St. Charles belt line.  However, a scant four years later, the St. Charles-Tulane belts were severed, with Tulane Avenue converted to trolley coaches, and the short extension went out of use.

After 1953, when the S. Claiborne and Napoleon lines were dieselized, the only remaining streetcar lines were the Canal, which used the inner tracks and the Liberty Monument loop and layover area, and the St. Charles, which used the outer riverbound track for one block, between Carondelet/Bourbon and St. Charles/Royal.  The other outer tracks were available, but were not in regular revenue service.  They saw occasional use: for example, for movement of cars between the two car barns, or to provide an alternative route for Canal cars during maintenance (typically at night) on the inner tracks.

Click here to view a map of Canal Street trackage in 1955.

Pictures 251, 252, 252.3, and 252.6.
The terminal of the St. Claude line on N. Rampart St. at Canal St.  The upper picture features Perley Thomas car 1001.  The second picture shows St. Louis Car Co. car 1010 at the same location.  The photographers were standing on the lake side of Rampart, facing in toward the river.  The cars have stopped short of the crossover that will be used to reverse direction, and have discharged their passengers.  The third picture features car 1016, another of the St. Louis cars, at the same spot, but the photographer is standing with his back to Canal St, facing down Rampart St.  The crossover can be seen in the foreground.  In the fourth picture, Perley Thomas car 1003 has pulled up to the passenger shelter, and the conductor is loading passengers while the motorman changes trolley poles to reverse direction.  Note how the shelter sticks out into the traffic lanes.  The shelter was unique on Canal Street, but it was very useful in the New Orleans climate, with its hot sun and frequent rain showers.  All of these pictures except the first are dated June 10, 1947.  The first picture probably dates from some time in the 1940s. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo (except first photo)

Cars 1000-1019 were the highest refinement of the Perley Thomas arch roof streetcar in New Orleans.  Unfortunately, there were so few of them that St. Claude was the only line that could make good use of their high speed motors in daytime base service.  Cars 1000-1009 were built by the Perley Thomas Car Co., and 1010-1019 by the St. Louis Car Co.  All were scrapped when St. Claude was converted to trolley coaches in 1949.

Picture 253.
Canal Street looking out from the corner of University/Burgundy, December 1940.  The Woolworth store is at the near corner of N. Rampart St.  There is a small crowd of people at the left waiting for the traffic light to cross from the Canal Street neutral ground to the uptown side of the street.  Just to the right from them, we can see the track switch which used to carry streetcars into University; but there is no longer a trolley wire leading into that curve, so the University/Dryades track has been abandoned.  The one streetcar in sight is outbound on the inner Canal Street track. — Collection of Stephen M. Scalzo
Picture 253.5.
Cemeteries car 924 at the right is heading for the river, while Tulane car 812 is lakebound, both on the inner tracks.  Beyond car 812, we can see a trolley coach on the Jackson line.  The intersection in the foreground is Burgundy Street to the left, and University to the right.  The shoppers are wearing or carrying light coats, and there are Christmas decorations on the light poles.  The date has to be between 1947, when the Jackson trolley coach line was started, and 1949, the last year for the use of the Cemeteries name for the Canal streetcars. — Charles Franck photo, collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 254.
This view looks inward, past an 800-series streetcar, probably on the Cemeteries line.  The car is taking on passengers at its right rear door at the Dauphine/Baronne intersection.  In the right foreground, we see the shiny rails of the outer riverbound track.  This track was used at this time by the St. Charles Belt line cars, which turned right into Baronne St. to travel up to Howard Ave.  We see a knot of passengers awaiting the next car.  It is a sunny but cold day in December 1940. — Collection of Stephen M. Scalzo
Pictures 255 and 256.
Canal Street in the late 1940s (above) and early 1950s (below).  The view is out toward the lake, with St. Charles/Royal the first intersection.  Notice the realigned inner tracks, with passenger loading space between inner and outer tracks; the ornamental street lights, and lack of overhead wires (except, of course, for the trolley wires and the span wires to support them); and in the foreground, the cut off remnants of curves that formerly connected Royal Street and the downbound track on St. Charles to the outer Canal St. tracks. — Grant L. Robertson (both)
Picture 256.5.
The financial district on Carondelet Street, looking up, away from Canal Street.  Brill-built car 892 is turning from Carondelet onto the outer Canal Street track on the St. Charles line.  Note the switch in the Carondelet Street track.  During the days of the St. Charles-Tulane Belt lines, Tulane cars took the switch to the inner Canal Street track so that they could go all the way in to the loop at the foot of Canal.  At this time, in the 1950s, that switch was no longer in regular use.  The track at the right, which once carried streetcars up Carondelet from Canal, is now out of use, with Carondelet a one-way street; in fact, although the track is intact all the way to Howard Ave., it no longer has a trolley wire.  One block back on Carondelet Street, we can see a Freret trolley coach stopped at Common Street. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Pictures 257 and 257.1.
The corner of Canal and St. Charles/Royal.  The upper photo is dated July 20, 1954.  A Freret trolley coach in red and cream livery is loading passengers at the curb, while a St. Charles streetcar on the outer track and Canal car 950 on the inner track do the same.  The lower photo features a glimpse of a Freret trolley coach at our left, St. Charles car 806 on the outer track, and Canal cars 920 and 930 on the inbound and outbound middle tracks, loading passengers.  It is Christmas shopping season (so probably December), some time in the early 1950s; note the Christmas decorated light pole.  Both the Freret coach and the St. Charles car will turn right and proceed up St. Charles Street to Lee Circle.  Note the huge signs for some of the more important businesses, such as Stevens and Mayer Israel's in this block, and Godchaux's in the next. — Collections of Stephen M. Scalzo (upper) and of the author (lower)
Picture 257.2.
It is Mardi Gras time, some year in the middle 1950s.  The photographer is standing on the neutral ground at about Royal Street, looking outward.  Some of the ornamental street lights have been elaborately decorated for Carnival.  A viewing stand has been erected on top of the unused outer tracks about a block and a half away.  On our left, Canal car 952 is inbound toward the loop, and another Canal car is outbound passing the viewing stand.  A White bus at the curb to our right is operating on the Desire or the Gentilly line.  We can see that the crossover at the lower left, which once connected all four tracks, has been rebuilt so that it now connects only the two inner tracks.  We have an excellent view of store signs, with D. H. Holmes and Kress prominent on the right (the downtown side of Canal), and Sutton's Fairyland, Godchaux's, and Loew's notable on the left (the uptown side).  Atop many of the Canal Street buildings, we can see elaborate advertising signs, many for alcohol: I. W. Harper, Early Times, Schlitz, and others.  At night, many of these signs lit up, some with elaborate moving light displays.  (Click on the picture at the left for an enlargement and a detail closeup view.) — Underwood & Underwood, photo by James Kissinger
Pictures 257.4 and 257.6.
The Woolworth's store in the background of these two pictures was built in 1947 at the corner of N. Rampart and Canal.  The top picture features Canal car 950, run number 47, approaching Rampart on the inner lakebound track, Tuesday, June 29, 1954.  The lower picture is taken from the other side of Rampart as car 924, run 32, heads out toward the cemeteries on Tuesday, July 10, 1956.  Both days seem to have had their rain showers, which is pretty standard weather in New Orleans.
Pictures 258 and 259.
Two views in toward the river from Liberty Street.  The upper picture is a 1930s view.  We see several streetcars on the inner tracks; these would be Canal-Cemeteries and West End cars.  In the middle of the picture, we see two of the left-turn tracks on Canal Street, both at the Crozat/Loyola (formerly Franklin, later Saratoga) intersection.  The track to our right leads Tulane Belt cars to Tulane Avenue, and the track to our left leads around the block to come out at the left foreground on Liberty Street.  This was the terminus of the Spanish Fort line trains until that line was abandoned in 1932.  The lower picture shows the riverbound outer track after it was extended in 1947 from Liberty to Rampart.  This was used by the St. Charles Belt cars after their approach to Canal Street was moved from Rampart to Liberty.  A bus can be seen crossing Canal at Burgundy. — Louisiana News Co. (lower)
Pictures 259.3 and 259.6.
On February 16, 1948, a visiting couple from Philadelphia took these snapshots of Canal Street.  The photographer is standing on the Canal Street neutral ground between Basin/Elk and Rampart Streets.  The upper picture faces in toward the river, the lower picture faces out toward the lake.  Car 932 at right in the upper picture is probably a Cemeteries or West End car, heading toward the Liberty Monument loop at the foot of Canal.  The lower picture features a 400-class car at the left, serving the St. Charles Belt line, on the outer track, heading in toward Baronne Street.  The Joy Theater is at the corner of Canal and Elk Place, and the Krause store at the right is on the corner of Canal and Basin Street.  The Southern Railway terminal is out of the picture to the right.  Notice the decorated light pole on the neutral ground, probably part of the Mardi Gras celebration of one of the Krewes.  (The Mardi Gras Season in New Orleans begins with Twelfth Night, twelve days after Christmas, so February is right in the middle of the Season.)
Picture 260.
Canal car 928, run number 6, is working its way riverbound toward Rampart Street on Tuesday, July 10, 1956.  The tall building behind the Budweiser sign is the Hotel New Orleans.  The next car behind 928 is hardly a half-block back, and several more Canal cars can be seen in the right background.  One of New Orleans' frequent showers has left the pavement wet.
Picture 261.
The second of the 800-972 class cars, Brill-built number 801, heads out on Canal Street, probably about 1950.  The track in the right corner foreground is the outer track used by St. Charles Belt cars (see Picture 259).  It appears to still be an active track, so this picture probably predates the end of the St. Charles-Tulane Belt lines in early 1951.  The Southern Railway depot is behind the streetcar, and the Saenger Theater marquee still dominates the scene at the corner of Rampart and Canal. — Charles Houser
Pictures 261.3 and 261.4.
Two photos of busy outbound Canal cars filled with riders one morning in 1953.  The upper photo shows car 938 followed a block back by 931.  This picture was taken in the block between Royal/St. Charles (ahead) and Bourbon/Carondelet (behind the photographer), looking in toward the river and across to the uptown side.  The outer track in the foreground had been used by the Desire and Gentilly lines, but those had been converted to bus in 1948.  In the 1929 rebuilding, this block had been given a four-track crossover, but some time before 1948, it was converted to a simple crossover between the two inner tracks.  In the foreground of this picture, we see a remnant of the original crossover, but the switch now leads nowhere.  In fact, a close look reveals that the frog (the place where two rails cross) has been welded over to make the straight-through rail solid.

The second photo shows car 937, equally filled with riders, about a block away, between Bourbon/Carondelet and Dauphine/Baronne, from a similar point of view.  In the background, a group of workmen are just deploying their equipment from their truck, parked over the unused outer track, to begin some maintenance project on the neutral ground.

Pictures 261.6 and 261.7.
Sometimes, the presence of through tracks on the outer edge of the Canal Street neutral ground, normally unused, could be quite convenient.  Here is an example.  After the S. Claiborne line had been converted to bus in early 1953, NOPSI decided to rebuild the upbound track on St. Charles Street between Canal and Lee Circle, and remove the long unused downbound track.  It was announced that during the project, St. Charles cars would use Baronne Street instead of St. Charles Street.  Of course, making a left turn from Carondelet to Canal and again to Baronne was impossible.  These pictures give us an idea of how the detour was accomplished.  We see St. Charles cars running lakebound (wrong way!) on the outer track from Carondelet to Baronne.  Cars turned from Carondelet to Canal, stopped and changed ends, then ran to Baronne and turned into that street, running up Baronne to Howard Avenue and thence to St. Charles Avenue at Lee Circle.  With an extra man on the ground to assist with the trolley poles, this might not have taken much more time than the normal operation.  The upper photo features car 971 followed by 960, with the nose of a Freret trolley coach visible in the background at Carondelet.  The lower photo features car 964.

Out from Claiborne Avenue, Canal Street was a simple double-track line to the end of the street at City Park Avenue.  The track was laid in the neutral ground, with grass up to the height of the railhead.  Girder rail was used from Claiborne in to the loop, but out from Claiborne the track was almost all T rail.  At cross streets, there was usually concrete on both sides of the railhead, providing a flangeway for the T rail.  There were occasional crossover switches so that cars could be turned back when blockages, schedule delays, or other emergencies required; these were two-point spring-actuated railroad-type switches, and most of them were not provided with a trolley wire!

At Canal Station, there was a third track in the neutral ground, on the downtown side.  The ladder tracks from the car barn and storage yards were connected to this third track.  At both ends, the third track connected to both main tracks via double-point spring-actuated railroad-type switches.

The outer end of Canal Street is at City Park Avenue, where there are several of New Orleans' famous above-ground-burial cemeteries.  For many years, there were five lines which passed this point.  The main lines were the Canal and Esplanade Belt lines.  Canal Belt operated out Canal Street to City Park Ave., turned right, and followed City Park Ave. to Esplanade, which it followed back to Rampart and thence back to Canal.  The Esplanade Belt followed the same route in the opposite direction.  This ended in 1934, when the Esplanade trackage was converted to buses.  The West End and Spanish Fort lines followed Canal Street to City Park Ave. and turned left, operating out Julia St. and West End Blvd. to their destinations.  Originally, these had been train operations, but by the 1930s, West End was a single car operation.  The Spanish Fort line was abandoned in 1932.  Finally, there was the Cemeteries line (sometimes called Canal-Cemeteries), which came out Canal St. to the cemeteries area at City Park Ave. and turned back at that point.  From 1934 to 1950, Cemeteries was effectively a short-turn local-stops version of the West End line.  Between Claiborne and City Park Ave., West End made only limited stops, at Galvez, Broad, Jefferson Davis, and Carrollton.  After conversion of West End to buses in 1950, the Cemeteries line was renamed Canal, because it was then the sole Canal Street line.

Prior to 1950, outbound Cemeteries cars turned left upon reaching City Park Ave., operating on side-of-the-road trackage (on the lake side of City Park Ave.), then turned right into Julia St. and used a crossover next to Greenwood Cemetery to turn back.  After termination of the West End line in 1950, Cemeteries cars (now called Canal) at first continued to use this same terminus.  On August 20, 1951, the terminus was moved to the end of Canal Street, and all tracks in City Park Ave. and Julia St. were removed.  The new terminal on Canal St. was similar to the one which can be seen today on the St. Charles line at Carrollton and Claiborne.  That is, it was a stub end double-track scissors crossover at the very end of Canal Street.  Between Anthony Street and City Park Ave., Canal Street is somewhat more narrow than for most of its length.  There was barely room for the double tracks in the narrower neutral ground of this short section.

Picture 262.
Most of Canal Street had a grassy neutral ground with only one pair of tracks in the center.  This refers to everything toward the lake from Claiborne Ave. outward to the cemeteries.  This picture of the Boys High School (built in 1913, later named Warren Easton High School, and made coed in 1952) on Canal Street near Canal Station shows a typical block of this grassy streetcar right of way.  Note the then-young trees (the card is postmarked 1922), and the crown of the cross street, which rises to the level of the tracks.  About the only things that changed from this picture to the end of Canal streetcar service in 1964 were the size of the trees and the name of the high school.
Picture 263.
In May 1964, Perley Thomas car 832 leaves the central business district behind as it runs out Canal Street heading for the Cemeteries terminal at City Park Ave.  Note the concrete bordering the rails in the paved cross street, and the pedestrian sidewalks for the cross street.  The remainder of the neutral ground has grass up to the railhead. — Railway Negative Exchange
Pictures 264, 265, and 266.
Out from Claiborne, the Canal Street neutral ground not only had grass but also landscaping in the form of various trees and bushes, including some palm trees as seen here.  The top picture was taken at Roman Street.  The middle picture features two Canal cars passing at Tonti Street.  The bottom picture shows car 959 inbound at Dorgenois Street.  All three pictures were taken in the afternoon of Friday, February 28, 1964, and look outward toward the lake. — R. Hill
Picture 267.
A passenger takes the breeze from the right front window of car 919 along Canal Street as the car passes with all windows open.  We see the palm trees and flowers and the grassy carpet on the right of way.  The wooden poles supporting the overhead wires and other cables were typical of the Canal Street line outside the central business district.  (In contrast, the St. Charles line sports steel poles along most of its length.) — Post Card Specialties
Picture 268.
A Canal car has just passed this car stop inbound, about a block away from Canal Station, on Sunday, August 25, 1963.  Note the older type of white-painted wooden Car Stop sign, which is now extinct in New Orleans.  The only thing about this one is that some joker has repainted it with mirror-image lettering, whether by accidentally holding the stencil backwards or deliberately as a prank.  (The picture has not been reversed.  The yellow School Zone sign can be read, and reversing it would make the automobiles run on the left side of the street.)  The towers at the left are Warren Easton High School.  Compare the trees in this picture to the young ones in Picture 262.
Pictures 269, 270, and 271.
The top two of these pictures were taken near Tonti Street.  All three show off the neutral ground running that was the hallmark of the Canal line.  The top picture features car 966 as two ladies and a gentleman walk to the rear door to board.  Note the white painted wooden Car Stop sign.  The bottom picture features car 918.  These pictures were taken Saturday, Feb. 1, 1964. — Bill Armstrong
Picture 272.
Perley Thomas cars 922 and 900 meet along Canal Street.  Note again the white wooden type of car stop sign.  We can see the conductor of 900 in the left rear window, wearing his white dress shirt and perched on the stool on the rear platform. — William Cleaves, collection of Seashore Trolley Museum, courtesy of Leo Sullivan
Pictures 273 and 274.
Trackage at the car barn, Canal Station, Sunday, August 25, 1963.  The upper picture looks out toward the lake, showing the third track where it connects to the two main tracks.  The car barn is on the right, in the next block.  Note the double-point railroad-type switches.  They were provided with springs, so that a streetcar could pass through the “wrong way” and the switch would move safely.  Similar switches were used at turnback crossovers all along the line.  The lower picture, facing the opposite direction (toward the river), shows an afternoon streetcar taking one of the ladder tracks into the car storage yard.
Picture 274.5.
West End cars 900, outbound (lakebound), and 902, inbound (riverbound), pass near Canal Station.  The view is similar to that of Picture 274.  The white building in the left-center of this picture is seen in the center background of Picture 274.  At the left, behind the pole in the foreground of this picture, is a bracket arm carrying the trolley wire for the third track, which connects to the car barn lead tracks.  The presence of low-numbered 900-series cars on the Canal Street lines suggests a date of about 1947 or later.  The West End line was abandoned in March 1950, putting an upper limit on the date of this photo.
Pictures 275 and 275.5.
New Orleans Public Service Inc. (NOPSI, never NOPS) displayed this large sign on the lakeward side of the main Canal Station building.  The lettering above the sign reads: “Transit Department / Canal Station and Bus Garage”.  The area behind the sign was paved for diesel bus parking.  Beyond is Warren Easton High School.  The date is Sunday, Aug. 25, 1963.  The lower photo, taken around 1950, shows car 920 inbound in Canal line service, passing the bus storage yard, which is filled with White buses awaiting assignment to duty.  For many years, the White buses were the backbone of the bus fleet.
Pictures 276 and 276.2.
Just to the photographer's right from Picture 275, he had the view in the upper picture here.  The wall at the right is the lake-side wall of the main Canal Station building.  The sign on the wall reads: “Positively no admittance with out order from office of superintendent”.  There were only these two tracks on this side of the building, the right one marked as track #17.  The track on which car 944 is standing (it would be track #18) has no trolley wire, and the car is permanently out of service.  (The car was reported to have suffered a fire some time in 1963, and it did not survive the end of Canal line service the following year.)  This picture was also taken Sunday, Aug. 25, 1963.

The lower photo, taken in June 1963, shows a closer view of out-of-service car 944.  Its trucks have been taken out from under the body, and the car is standing on cribbing.  It is apparently being cannibalized for parts.

Picture 276.5.
Brill-built car 857 at rest in Canal Station yard, April 1964.  The roll signs, which say Claiborne and Special, are meaningless; probably the photographer had cranked them around to his choice.  Note the white porcelain finish on the handrails and poles in the car.
Pictures 277 and 278.
Canal Station storage yard, Saturday, Feb. 1, 1964.  These are the outdoor storage tracks that were on the river side of the Station building.  Cars 938, 816, 814, and 857 are at the head of their tracks awaiting the next call to service.  Each shows a “Car House” destination sign in the upper window to the viewer's left. — Bill Armstrong (both)
Pictures 279 and 280.
The car storage yard on the river side of the Canal Station main building, Sunday, Aug. 25, 1963.  These tracks connected to the third track in the Canal Street neutral ground.  Number signs over each track identify them as track #1 through #6, from right to left.  In the upper picture, we see cars 918, 911, 927, 930(?), and 908 at the front of the lines of cars ready to run Monday morning, with track #2 empty of cars.  In the lower picture, probably taken just a few minutes later, car 924 has pulled in to track #3, and a shop man is on a ladder attending to some problem at the right front corner of the car roof.  It's not an electrical problem, because the car still has a trolley pole up to the wire.
Picture 280.1.
Car 919 appears to have just pulled into the Canal Station storage yard from Canal Street.  The photographer is standing in the yard, facing Canal Street, as a Canal car in the background rolls by in service.
Pictures 280.3 and 280.5.
For many years, Canal Station had a car storage yard in the square block bounded by Iberville, Gayoso, Bienville, and White Streets.  The tracks into this block extended from those in the block that contained the car barn and the yards next to it (the block viewed in the previous several pictures).  Here are two views of that storage yard, taken on June 10, 1947.  In the top picture, the closest car is 853, signed simply Car House.  At the right is 832, which had borne a patriotic livery during the second World War (see Picture 306), and which survives today in a museum; it is signed for St. Claude, so it had probably been used most recently as a tripper on that line.  The only other car number that can be made out is 804, at the left rear.  The lower picture features car 889 signed for the Desire Line, which also ran from this station.  It appears to be at the very back of the yard, with a clear view to the houses on the other side of Canal Street.  During the trolley coach era, the rails were removed from this square, and it was paved and given twin-wire overhead for use by the trolley coaches of the City Park and St. Claude lines. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos
Picture 280.7.
This is the car storage yard from the other direction, compared to Pictures 277-280, after the next square (seen in Pictures 280.3 and 280.5) was converted to trolley coach storage.  We are looking at five of the six storage tracks, #1 through #5 or #2 through #6, this time from left to right.  A shadow of the trolley coach overhead can be seen on the pavement in the foreground (Iberville Street).  The cars lined up at the end of the tracks are, left to right, 931, 939, 933, 952, and another 900-class car.  Car 931 is signed Car House Canal, which would be typical.  But interestingly enough, 939 is signed Car House St. Charles (the St. Charles line was not usually represented at Canal Station), and the next two are marked Special.  (The last car at the right does not have a sign visible in the picture.) — Collection of Earl Hampton
Pictures 281 and 281.5.
It is March 1964, and the Canal line will soon cease streetcar operations.  But until it does, Canal Station continues to maintain the car fleet in good operating condition.  These two photos appear to show the same scene from opposite directions; the lower is facing Canal Street.  Cars 827 and 804 rest over the inspection pits inside Canal Station's venerable car barn.  We see a GMC bus on the right behind the streetcars, and another bus on the far side of 827.  Note the arched girders supporting the roof of the building.  When the old car barn was taken down in 1992, these were salvaged, and were again erected when the Canal line was restored in 2004, as can be seen in Picture 456.
Picture 282.
The interior of Canal Station car barn, Sunday, Aug. 25, 1963.  The tracks in this section are #7 through #11, right to left; another section of the barn, out of sight to the left, has tracks #12 through #16.  We can see cars in the yard on track #6 through the open walls to the right.  Several cars are inside the barn over the inspection pits between the rails.
Pictures 283, 283.3, 283.6, 284 through 288.
We are at the outer end of Canal Street, at City Park Ave., on Tuesday, June 10, 1947.  These eight pictures, all from the camera of one photographer, appear to have been taken in the order shown, within a short time of one another.  The time sequence has been estimated from the shadows, which place the pictures in the morning.

In the first picture, the motorman of Cemeteries car 859, run 21, looks back into his car, awaiting the conductor's signal to proceed.  The car is just starting an inbound run on the Cemeteries line; its terminal is just out of sight, around the corner to our left.  Note the dent in the front dash of car 859.  The automobile that argued with this streetcar probably fared much worse!  The most frequent cause of such accidents was an auto pulling across the neutral ground in front of an approaching streetcar.  The wooden car stop post in the middle of the neutral ground implies that this location is a car stop in both directions.

The second picture shows Cemeteries car 879, run 18, at the same car stop.  In the right background, car 851 on either the Cemeteries or West End line is just turning left into City Park Ave. to proceed to Julia St.

In the third picture, car 896, run 13, has paused at the same stop.  This car is displaying a Canal route sign (center window) and a Cemeteries destination sign (right front window), which is unusual; more typically, the Cemeteries sign is in the center window, and the sign in the side window is blank, as in other examples in this group.  (The official name of the route was Canal-Cemeteries, but in most contexts, it was usually called simply Cemeteries.)

The fourth picture shows Cemeteries car 823, run 23, stopping in the same location.  A moment later (fifth picture), West End car 830, run 30, pulled up next to car 823, outbound toward its terminal at West End.  It will turn left here, and proceed to Julia St., then past the Cemeteries terminal, continuing to the end of the line at Lake Ponchartrain.  Through the right hand rear window, we can see the conductor of car 830 with his right arm raised to the signal bell cord, ready to sound “two bells” to his motorman to proceed.

The sixth picture features car 829, inbound West End run 38, already carrying a substantial load of passengers.

In the seventh picture, we see a small crowd of riders walking away from car 907, outbound on the West End line as run 32.  The rear doors are closing, and the car will probably pull out and turn left in a few moments.  To the left of car 907, we can see part of car 822, inbound on West End or Cemeteries.

The bottom picture features outbound West End car 854, run 33, with passengers leaving the car at both front and rear doors.

In all of these pictures, note how little automobile traffic there is.  That would change drastically over the next few years! — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos

Picture 288.5.
Cemeteries car 913 is stopped at the head of Canal Street, having just turned in from City Park Ave.  This picture was probably taken in 1948 or 1949.  Note the large number of riders, even though the car is near the beginning of its run to the river.
Pictures 288.8 and 288.9.
The upper view shows Cemeteries car 843 at its terminal next to Greenwood Cemetery, February 25, 1947.  The car has changed ends and is on the crossover which will take it to the inbound track to begin its next run on Canal Street.  In the lower photo, Cemeteries car 917 is on the crossover at the terminal, while West end car 906 passes on its outbound trip toward the lake, March 18, 1949. — Elliott Kahn photo, collection of J. G. Lachaussee (upper)
Pictures 289, 289.5, 290, 291, 292, and 292.2.
These pictures show the outer terminus of the Canal line shortly after the abandonment of the West End line in January 1950.  In the first picture, outbound Canal car 928 is on the side-of-the-road track at Julia St., about to turn.  The next picture shows outbound Canal car 927 turning from City Park Ave. into Julia St., approaching the terminus.  Greenwood Cemetery is seen the other side of the streetcar.  The third, fourth, and fifth pictures show cars 900, 905, and 941 after they have changed ends.  They are ready to begin their next inbound trips to the river.  These three photos face towards Lake Pontchartrain.  Greenwood Cemetery is on the right, the former location of the New Basin Canal is on the other side of the streetcar, and Metairie Cemetery is beyond that.  The canal was being filled in so that its right-of-way could be used for the Pontchartrain Expressway.  The picture of car 900 is dated September 27, 1950, but the car is signed Cemeteries rather than Canal.  The sixth picture shows car 941 just after it has pulled away from the terminus, about to turn into the side-of-the-road trackage along City Park Ave to return to Canal Street.  The building behind the streetcar is the office of the Acme Marble & Granite Company. — The third picture is from the collection of William Nixon.  The fourth picture is by William Cleaves, collection of Seashore Trolley Museum, courtesy of Leo Sullivan.  The second, fifth, and sixth pictures are by D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri, who also wrote part of this caption.
Pictures 292.5, 292.6, and 292.7.
In the top photo, cars 932 and 912 are at the Canal line terminal on Julia Street just north of City Park Avenue in June 1951.  We are looking to the south.  At our right, car 912 is just starting its inbound run to the river, preparing to turn left into City Park Avenue.  Car 932 is starting to move forward (toward the camera) to the crossove that will switch it to the right-hand track.  Note the path, where West End inbound tracks have been removed.  The middle picture, dated May 27, 1950, and the bottom picture, taken around the same time, show car 914 at the terminal.  The bottom picture is facing the opposite direction from the other two, looking in the direction of the lake.  It is clear that the outbound track has been cut off since removal of the West End trackage, and in the bottom photo, we can clearly see that there was a track in between the inbound and outbound tracks for the Canal-Cemeteries cars to lay over without blocking West End cars.  The West End inbound track had connected at the switch in the foreground, but now has been cut off and removed.  Julia Street on this side of City Park Ave. is mostly streetcar right-of-way. — Otto Goessl photos
Pictures 293 and 293.1.
Cemeteries car 917 is at the end of the Cemeteries line on Julia St.  The top picture shows the car ready to begin its next inbound run to the foot of Canal Street.  The motorman is looking back over his right shoulder to check for an oncoming West End car before taking the crossover in front of him to enter the main inbound track.  In the second picture, the car has just begun its inbound run, and is turning from Julia St. into City Park Ave. for the short trip back to Canal Street.  Compare the picture of car 933 in Picture 293.5 below.  The upper picture was taken in 1949, and the lower was possibly taken at the same time.  The entrance to Metairie Cemetery can be seen at the left edge of the lower picture. — Photo by Allan Berner (upper)
Pictures 293.3 and 293.4.
The top picture shows car 933 in the act of turning into City Park Ave. to return to Canal Street.  At this point, the streetcar is moving east, with westbound automobile traffic to its right heading towards Metairie.  The New Basin Canal had been right behind the building on the other side of the streetcar.  City Park Avenue became Metairie Road on the other side of the canal.  Metairie Cemetery is in the right background.  The bottom photo shows car 925 moving eastward along City Park Ave. heading for Canal Street.  The automobile roadways are at our left, showing again how a westbound automobile would pass to its own left of an eastbound streetcar.  This must have felt very strange to a westbound automobile driver! — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri (top); Otto Goessl photo (bottom)
Picture 293.5.
This photo is facing roughly east (by the compass) from Julia Street toward Canal Street along Metairie Road/City Park Ave, Friday, March 18, 1949.  Car 914 is outbound on the Cemeteries line, nearing its outer terminus, which is just around the corner to the car's right.  Note that the automobile roadway, parallel to the tracks, is seen to the camera's right.
Pictures 293.6, 293.7, and 293.8.
The first two of these photos are facing about the same direction as the previous picure, during 5 p.m. rush hour.  Those two were taken in May 1951, apparently just a few minutes apart, from the north side of Metairie Road/City Park Ave.  The third picture was taken around the same time, but from the south side of the street.  Note the long line of motor traffic, including Metairie buses 1603 and 1605, waiting to cross the bridge into Metairie, while the streetcars have a clear route between Canal Street and Julia Street.  The streetcar in the upper photo is moving toward the camera, the one in the second picture, car 937, is moving away, back toward Canal Street; it might, or might not, be the same streetcar.  The third photo gives an overall view of the scene, so that we can see the relative positions of the east- and west-bound motor traffic, with the east- and west-bound streetcar traffic. — Otto Goessl photos (top and middle)
Picture 293.9.
This photo of car 914 at the head of Canal Street at City Park Avenue is believed to be from 1951, shortly after the Canal line had been cut back to this point, and while the tracks on City Park Ave. were being removed.  Note the barricade near the right edge of the picture, and the construction truck just beyond it.  The car is signed Canal, not Cemeteries, which tends to date it after the demise of the West End line.
Pictures 294 and 295.
Cemeteries terminal of the Canal line in the 1950s and 1960s, at the outer end of Canal Street.  Beginning August 20, 1951, the Canal line was cut back to this point, and the tracks in City Park Ave. and Julia St. were removed.  The upper picture features cars 930 and 932 in August 1963 on the two stub ends of the double track scissors crossover.  Both have changed ends and are prepared for their next runs inbound to the Liberty Monument loop.  The lower picture, from 1959, features car 935, also ready for departure.  Note how narrow the neutral ground is at this point.  Passengers board from the center concrete sidewalk; there is no room for sidewalks between the cars and the automobile traffic lanes. — Railway Negative Exchange (both)
Picture 296.
Canal cars 936 and 941 await departure time from the Cemeteries terminal, Saturday, Feb. 1, 1964.  Car 941 appears to have passengers aboard, so it will be the next car to leave. — Bill Armstrong
Pictures 297 and 297.5.
In the upper picture, Canal car 949 has loaded passengers in preparation for its next trip to the Liberty Monument.  The motorman seems to be alert at his controls, so departure time is probably imminent.  The lower picture features car 920 sporting the new rounded windows.  It is on the far track from the photographer, so we get a good look at the loading platform between the tracks.  The crew are having a chat at the far end of the car.  Both pictures were taken Saturday, Feb. 1, 1964. — Bill Armstrong (both)
Picture 298.
Perley Thomas car 936 is at the Cemeteries terminal some time in 1960 or possibly a few years earlier.  The crew has changed ends, and the car awaits passengers for the return to the foot of Canal Street.  At the left rear of the photo can be seen the elk statue atop the tomb of Lodge No. 30 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Greenwood Cemetery, across City Park Avenue.
Pictures 298.3, 298.5, and 298.7.
In the top picture of this group, taken Tuesday, November 1, 1952, Canal car 906 has just arrived at the Cemeteries terminal and has discharged its passengers through the left front door onto the center platform.  The middle picture, taken in November 1960, features car 931.  It has been prepared for the return trip to the foot of Canal, and the crew has closed the doors to take a break.  They will shortly open up and load the waiting passengers.  The car is operating with experimental steel doors.  Even though it is November, short sleeves and no jackets or coats seem to be in order.  The bottom picture is dated Friday, January 1, 1960, and shows cars 934 (to our left) and 942 (to our right), also ready for departure.  At this moment, car 934 is loading passengers, so it will be the next car to leave.  We can see the conductor of 934 busily at work, while one of the crew of 942 leans in his car's doorway and kibitzes.
Pictures 299, 300, and 301.
These three pictures of the Cemeteries terminal all look inbound, toward the river, the top two pictures from across City Park Ave.  In the top picture, we see two Canal cars in the two stub tracks, with trolley poles reversed, ready for their next run to the Liberty Monument.  In the middle picture, we see that the car in the left-hand stub is departing, switching to the inbound (right-hand) track.  In the bottom picture, we see the next car approaching the terminal; the motorman has actuated the electric track switch to send the car into the vacant left stub track.  The date is Friday, February 28, 1964. — R. Hill
Picture 302.
On August 25, 1963, a lone Canal car waits at the Cemeteries terminal for departure time to the Liberty Monument loop.  It is Sunday, so another car will probably not arrive before this one departs.
Pictures 302.1 and 302.2.
These two photos show Canal cars leaving the cemeteries terminal, beginning their runs to the foot of Canal Street.  The upper picture, dated April 18, 1958, features car 929 just beginning to pull out (at our left), with 944 on the right, awaiting the next pullout time.  We have a good look at the double track scissors crossover.  The lower picture shows car 922 leaving the Cemeteries terminal.  The terminal at the end of the line has the form it took in 1951.  Notice the gasoline prices at the left edge of the lower photo.  The automobile at the left is a 1952 Kaiser, and the taxi at the right is a 1951 or 1952 Plymouth.  So the date of the lower picture must be early 1950s, probably in the range 1952 to 1954. — Louis Hennick collection (lower)

In the late 1940s, the three layover tracks at the Liberty Monument loop at the foot of Canal Street were all heavily used.  The track on the downtown side of the neutral ground was usually used for Tulane cars, and the other two tracks for the two Canal St. lines, one track for Cemeteries cars, the other for West End.  Carmen could take a short break in an underground shelter on the neutral ground.  In the late 1950s, when Canal was the only surviving line to use the loop and layover tracks, rush hour operation typically used only two of the three tracks, the two on the downtown side of the neutral ground.  (The third track was available, but was not usually used.)  The switch was manually operated, by a man carrying a switch bar; for some reason, electrically operated switches were never installed here.  Alternate cars were switched to alternate tracks.

Picture 302.3.
Car 932 is completing a trip around the loop, and will take a track set by the workman with a switch iron seen at the right of this June 10, 1959 photo.  At this time, the usual practice when the switchman was on duty was to alternate Canal cars between the first two tracks. — Clark Frazier photo
Picture 302.4.
A typical lineup of three streetcars at the foot of Canal Street, June 10, 1947.  From left, on the downtown side of the neutral ground, car 814 is serving the Tulane Belt, car 906 is on the Cemeteries run, and car 829 is a West End car.  The view is toward the uptown side of Canal, angled toward the river. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo
Picture 302.6.
Another June 10, 1947 view, this time looking toward the uptown side of the street, but angled away from the river.  Tulane Belt car 806 is the closest car, with Cemeteries car 855 next, and a third car beyond, probably a West End car.  Notice the ladies in their light summer dresses and, always, hats.  We also see a Checkered Cab parked at the neutral ground curb. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo
Picture 302.8.
For this June 10, 1947 view, the photographer is standing on the riverbound inner track (which also constitutes the third layover track).  Tulane Belt car 815 is switching from this inner track to the outer track to approach the loop.  Waiting to pull out on its outbound run by taking the switch in front of it is West End car 843.  The vertical sign fastened to the corner of the dark building to our right says, “Bienville Warehouse Coop”. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, Louis Hennick collection
Picture 303.
The four track terminus at the liberty Monument, Wednesday, June 10, 1959, looking in toward the river from Peters.  The 928 (run 15) and 910 (run 16) will be the next two cars out; the 910 will take the crossover in front of it to move to the inner track.  In the right foreground is the crossover taken by all riverbound cars, leading to the loop.  These cars are typical of the 800-972 series, built 1922-1924, designed by the Perley A. Thomas Car Co. of High Point, North Carolina.  Thomas built 25 of the 800s and all 73 of the 900s; the other 75 of the 800s were built by the larger Brill Car Co. of Philadelphia.  In 1959, about 85 of these cars continued to provide service on the Canal and St. Charles lines. — N. D. Clark
Picture 304.
This Sunday, July 17, 1960 picture looks at the same area as the previous (Picture 303), but in the opposite direction.  The intersection with the traffic light ahead (looking out toward the lake) is Peters.  We can see all of the crossovers at this point.  On the left is the crossover taken by riverbound cars to switch from the inner track to the outer, to get to the loop.  The next crossover switches lakebound cars from the third layover track to the inner lakebound track.  And on the right, in front of car 939, is the crossover it will take from the outer track to the inner as it begins its next outbound run.  Note the Car Stop sign.
Picture 304.5.
It's a busy moment at the loop at the foot of Canal Street on Nov. 27, 1953.  At the far right, a car displaying run number 39 is on the outer track; it will be the next car to leave the terminal, switching to the inner track when it departs.  Immediately to its left, on the inner track, car 937, run 40, awaits its turn.  Presumably, another Canal car is behind the photographer (run 41).  To our far left, the motorman of car 936, run 42, watches the small crowd of pedestrians carefully as he prepares to pull forward and traverse the loop.  Behind car 936, another Canal car, run 43, is in the act of switching from the inner track to the outer, as car 936 has already done.  The Custom House is prominent in the background to the right. — Nick Mumphrey photo, collection of Earl Hampton
Pictures 304.7 and 304.8.
In these April 1963 pictures, we see two Perley Thomas cars, 906 and 922, apparently fresh from the paint shop, equipped with new round-cornered upper windows and doors.  They almost gleam in the sunlight.  Note how the upper windows of 906, above, have larger openings than those of 922, below.  Each car is stopped at the last stop before traversing the loop.  To our left in the second picture, we see another Canal car which still has square-cornered windows on the outbound track awaiting its next departure time.
Picture 305.
A few passengers have boarded Canal car 934 and the motorman is chatting with them as he awaits departure time for the Cemeteries.  The car is on the outer track, but will switch to the inner as soon as the trip begins.  We have another good view of the big Coca-Cola sign (see also Picture 303), but who knows whether the clock is running this time?  The beginning of the walkway to the ferry terminal is at the right rear.  The year is 1959. — Railway Negative Exchange
Picture 306.
Car 832 was given a patriotic livery during World War II to advertise the sale of War Bonds.  It is shown here on Saturday, Oct. 16, 1943, operating on the Canal-Cemeteries line.  The car is at the foot of Canal Street on the outer lakebound track, awaiting departure time for its next outbound run.  The ramp to the ferry building can be seen in the background. — Charles Houser
Picture 306.5.
Perley Thomas car 932 is working the Canal line in this Tuesday, November 20, 1951 picture.  The elevated walkway to the ferry building is in the background.
Pictures 307 through 310.
Four Tulane Belt cars are seen on Tuesday, June 10, 1947 at the foot of Canal Street.  We are looking out, away from the river.  In the top picture, Tulane car 811 and several friends await the departure time of their next runs, while another car (seen just to our left from car 811) approaches the loop.  The second picture shows car 809 waiting for an Allied Van Lines mover's truck to complete crossing the neutral ground.  (This is not the same truck as seen in the top picture.)  In the third picture, car 449 is on the outer lakebound track, just approaching the switch that will take it back to the inner track.  The last picture shows car 430 pulling up behind another streetcar on the outer track just after coming around the loop. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photos
Picture 310.5.
Car 920 is awaiting departure time as run 4 on the West End line, some time in the 1940s.  It is facing outbound on the inbound inner track, which is used as a third layover track.  As soon as the car moves forward, it will take the crossover to the outbound track.  The building seen behind the streetcar proclaims itself Warehouse No. 2 for the Burglass Furniture Co.: “You always do better at Burglass.”
Picture 311.
Car 835 on the outer track, and car 929 on the inner track as Cemeteries run number 14, await departure time for their next outbound runs on a bright day in May 1949.  The motorman of 929, wearing his standard cap and long-sleeve white shirt with tie, is eyeing the photographer, probably wondering why he is taking a picture of him.  Perley Thomas car 929 is just about 25 years old, just entering its mature years; a bus this old would be junk. — Otto Goessl, from Don Ross
Picture 311.5.
All four tracks are in use in this 1946 picture.  At the far right, car 801 is on the Tulane line, and is riverbound, heading for the loop.  The other three tracks hold lakebound cars.  From the left, we see 427, also on the Tulane line, on the outer track.  Then car 860 on the second track, on the Cemeteries line, and 872 on the third track, showing a West End sign.  The elevated walkway to the ferry is prominent behind the streetcars. — from Don Ross
Picture 311.7.
Tulane car 409 is approaching the loop on the outer track, as an 800-class car starts around the loop ahead of it (in the right background).  After it rounds the loop, 409 will probably come into this scene on the far left track, the outer lakebound track.  Canal Cemeteries cars 851 and 897 await their next outbound runs on the tracks to the left of the 409.  Curiously, 897 carries the usual Cemeteries route sign above its center end window, but 851 (on the same route) carries a Canal route sign in the center and a Cemeteries destination sign above its right front window.  Technically, the route was called Canal-Cemeteries, but for most purposes, it was referred to simply as Cemeteries.  July 23, 1947. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo
Pictures 312 through 316.
In the next group of five pictures, photographer Roy Wright follows cars 915 and 929 at the river end of the Canal Street line as they approach and pass around the loop.
Picture 312.
Car 929 has completed its inbound run, and is approaching the loop.  Since the loop is connected only to the outer track, the car takes this crossover from the inner to the outer track.
Picture 313.
Car 934, on the lakebound inner track, is just about ready to pull forward to Peters to begin its outbound run.  Car 929, on our left, has stopped while the motorman talks to the switch tender, who is holding his iron switch bar in his hand.  The empty track in the foreground is the outer lakebound track.
Picture 314.
The last passengers walk away from 929, as car 915, ahead of it, begins its traverse of the loop.
Picture 315.
Car 915 has completed the loop traverse and pulled up to the first car stop on the lakebound inner track.  Car 929, behind it, is just coming around the loop; from here, 929 could be switched to any of three tracks.
Picture 316.
Car 929 has pulled up behind 915 on the inner lakebound track.  The track in the right foreground is the outer riverbound track, leading to the loop.  The top of the carmen's shelter can be seen between that track and the rear of car 929.
Picture 317.
This view from the early 1960s looks toward the river from the end of the loop, with the elevated walkway to the ferries in the background.  Car 925 has just come off the loop and taken the lakebound inner track.  At the left of the picture is a glimpse of the unoccupied outer lakebound track.  To our right from car 925 is the end of the riverbound inner track, available as a layover track for cars coming off the loop.  To the right of that track, we can see the entrance to the underground shelter for motormen and conductors.  At the far right, we can just see the end of another car entering the loop.
Pictures 318 and 319.
Two Canal cars with round-cornered rebuilt upper windows lay over on the outer track.  The upper view, from October 1962, features car 920.  We see one of the carmen taking his break outside the streetcar.  The lower picture shows car 911 in August 1963. — Railway Negative Exchange (both)
Picture 320.
Car 922 in Saturday service, August 24, 1963, is just coming off the loop into the inner lakebound track.  Compare the rounded windows of this rebuilt Perley Thomas car, to the original square windows of car 925 in Picture 317, car 943 in Picture 324, or car 940 in Picture 325.  To the right in the picture is the riverbound outer track, leading into the loop.  The painted stripe across the track marks the last car stop, where any final passengers were discharged.  (Passengers were not allowed to ride around the loop.)  The walkway to the ferry is in the background, and at the right rear, there seems to be a ferry in the slip.  The carmen's shelter is behind the bushes to the right of the streetcar.
Pictures 321 and 322.
In the upper picture, car 940, run number 10, at the left on the inner lakebound track, is just about to depart as car 913, run 12, at the right, begins its trip around the loop.  We can see the conductor of 913 in the rear window of his car.  The lower picture was taken a few minutes later.  We see that 913 has taken the outer track for its layover, and the following car, number 939, run 14, has circled the loop and pulled up on the inner track next to 913.  (Probably the odd run numbers were assigned to rush-hour trippers.)  We have good views, especially in the upper picture, of the ladder track that connected the ends of all four tracks.  Clearly, it could have been used as a stub-end terminal, with cars pulling up and reversing ends.  That might have been used in a situation in which the loop was blocked, but it must have been a rare-if-ever used maneuver.  These pictures were taken in the early 1960s. — Railway Negative Exchange (both)
Picture 323.
Canal car 945, run number 7, on our left on the outer layover track, will be the next car to leave for the cemeteries terminal.  It will eventually be followed by car 927, run number 9, on our right on the inner layover track.  The switch in the right foreground is in the outer riverbound track, and leads to the loop.  In the background, we see the ferry elevated walkway rising from ground level, and behind it, the roof of the L&N Railroad depot.  From the movie ads on the streetcars, the date of the picture is 1956 or slightly later.
Picture 324.
Another view from the early 1960s, showing cars on both the inner and outer tracks in the layover area.  In the right rear, we can see a car just coming off the loop.
Picture 325.
Car 940 is on the inner lakebound track, the middle of the three layover tracks, and is loading passengers to take the next outbound trip in Saturday service, August 24, 1963.  The oily deposits between the rails on the three layover tracks give us a good idea of their relative utilization: the middle track the most, the outer track (to our left) next, and the inner track (to our right from the streetcar) the least.  The track across the lower right corner of the picture is the riverbound outer track leading to the loop.
Picture 326.
Car 943 and friend wait to start their next outbound trips, Saturday, Feb. 1, 1964.  The ferry walkway is in the right background. — Bill Armstrong
Picture 327.
We are looking out toward the lake and the cemeteries as car 918 waits to begin its next trip on this afternoon in 1960.  The track at the left is the outer track leading to the loop.  The conductor appears to be reading a newspaper as he takes his break. — Railway Negative Exchange
Picture 328.
Car 933 has just completed its circuit of the loop and switched into the inner lakebound track in this 1960 picture.  We can see the top of the carmen's shelter to the left of the streetcar.  The bushes flank the steps leading down to the entry.  The sparsity of traffic and the shadows suggest that this was taken on a weekend, probably on a Sunday afternoon.  Note the advertisement for “Dr. Tichenor's Antiseptic,” a prominent local brand whose radio ads always featured a Cajun-accented voice. — Railway Negative Exchange
Picture 328.5.
All three layover tracks are occupied, although only the trolley pole can be seen of the car on the track farthest to our left.  The cars on the righthand track are on the Tulane line, including car 803 nearest the camera.  About a block ahead of it can be seen a 400-class car, recognizable because the ad on the rear dash panel is on the “wrong” side, compared to the ads on all the other Perley Thomas cars.  To the left of 803 is car 861, probably on the Cemeteries or West End line.  The date is Tuesday, June 10, 1947. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo
Pictures 329, 329.3, 329.6, 330, and 330.5.
These five views of the four track terminus were taken from the ferry walkway, and look out from the river.  The top picture was taken during the Mardi Gras season, showing a decorated light pole at our left.  We see two Canal cars on the loop, but little traffic, probably because it is a Sunday, Frebruary 19, 1950.  In the second picture, dated Friday, Jan. 31, 1964, a riverbound car on the outer track is about to start around the loop.  Two other cars, having traversed the loop, are about to start their outbound runs, one on the inner track, followed by a car on the outer track (which will switch to the inner before reaching Peters).  A GMC bus is just crossing the neutral ground.  The third photo, taken Friday afternoon April 18, 1958, features car 944 on the inner track next to the roof of the underground shelter, with 929 a bit ahead on the outer track, and another car visible between those two, on the outer riverbound track approaching the loop.  In the fourth view, from Wednesday, April 29, 1964, a riverbound car is taking the crossover to the outer track.  Lakebound cars lay over on two tracks after traversing the loop, while the next car out has proceeded to Peters to begin its run to the cemeteries.  In the left center foreground, we can see some patchwork around the switches connecting to the loop and the layover tracks.  The bottom view, from Saturday, November 1, 1952, shows no fewer than six Canal cars in the layover area.  We have a good view of the Liberty Monument, and even a glimpse of the ferry walkway, on which the photographer is standing. — Otto Goessl (top), Bill Armstrong (second), Al Reinschmidt (fourth)
Pictures 331 and 332.
Canal cars 952 (upper picture) and 956 (lower), with their original square-corner windows, round the loop, with the Liberty Monument in the right foreground of the upper picture.  These pictures appear to have been taken from the ferry walkway.  In the lower picture, note the overhang of the streetcar body, and the painted line which warned motorists not to get too close; compare it to the line in Picture 335.  The billboard in the background of both pictures says, “Site of New International Trade Mart Scheduled for Completion 1962.”  So the pictures must date from the early 1960s.  (The style of automobiles confirms this dating.)  For a view of the completed International Trade Mart, see Picture 385. — Railway Negative Exchange (lower)
Picture 333.
Car 908 traverses the loop at the foot of Canal Street in the later afternoon of Friday, Jan. 31, 1964.  The weather is typical of New Orleans: there has been a recent shower.  The car is showing a “Car House” destination in the window nearest the photographer, so the crew is looking forward to the end of their work day.  Note the extreme angle of the trailing trolley pole as the car rounds the tight curve.  Several other cars can be glimpsed at the right on the outbound tracks.  The two tracks in the foreground are standard gauge railroad tracks. — Bill Armstrong
Picture 334.
Looking straight out Canal Street, past the Liberty Monument.  The streetcar seen to the right of center is almost all the way around the loop.  Behind a bush can be seen the end of another car which had previously gone around the loop.  To the right we see the ferry walkway, and above it, the back of the big Coca-Cola/clock sign.  (See Picture 303 for a front view of this sign.)  This picture dates from the 1950s or early 1960s. — Grant L. Robertson
Picture 335.
On a quiet Sunday, Aug. 25, 1963, there is only one streetcar in view, so we get a good overall look at the loop at the foot of Canal Street.  The Liberty Monument is in the center, with the streetcar loop around it.  Note the dashed line in the street around the track, warning automobile drivers of the overhang of the streetcar body as the car moves around the tight curve; compare to the line in Picture 332, just a few years earlier.  We can see the ladder track that connects the ends of all four tracks, and the top of the carmen's shelter just to its left.  The cross street at the left center is S. Front, with Wells Street across Canal to the right.  The next cross street out is Fulton on the left (uptown), and N. Front on the right (downtown).  The street that is almost parallel to Canal, converging at S. Front, is Common Street (out from Rampart, this street is Tulane Avenue).  This scene is very different today; S. Front has become Convention Center, and now carries much more traffic in the redeveloped riverfront area.  The track from left to right across the foreground of the picture is a railroad track in Delta Street.  The streetcar tracks were a different gauge, so no connection was possible.
Picture 336.
For some reason, car 921 is stopped part-way around the loop in this 1961 picture.  The car has been rebuilt with rounded windows. — Railway Negative Exchange
Pictures 337, 338, and 338.5.
These views of Canal Street look out from the true “foot” of Canal Street.  We are closer to the river than the streetcar loop.  The Liberty Monument can be seen in all three pictures, with the track loop around the Monument, and streetcars beyond it.  To the right from the Monument, below the advertising signs (which are seen from the back), is the ramp to the L&N Railroad depot and the Canal ferry.  The third picture is dated March 2, 1946; the other pictures probably also date from the 1940s or early 1950s.  (For a front view of the signs, and the activity below them, see Picture 303.) — Mike Roberts Studios (upper), Colourpicture (middle)

Text, captions, photos by R. Hill, and photos by the author, © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 H. George Friedman, Jr.  All rights reserved.  Permission is hereby given for the QUOTATION of SHORT excerpts, as long as credit is given to H. George Friedman, Jr.

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