Ridin’ the Hodiamont and Streetcars of St. Louis: Two Videos of the Streetcar’s Last Days

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Recently, Andrew Raimist, a lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, and architect, posted two videos on Facebook from St. Louis’ last days as a streetcar city. What was once purported to be the largest streetcar system in the world had dwindled as the city’s population declined and car culture, and the resulting infrastructure came to dominant the landscape.

Yet, at the same time the streetcar era was ending, there were robust calls for investment in rapid transit to relieve congestion on regional highways as more and more people lived in suburban communities and drove to school, work, and for errands. Watch the video “Rapid Transit as a St. Louis Regional Priority – 1965“. Now, a streetcar is coming back to St. Louis, sort of. If you’re nostalgic, or just want to see what it looked like when streetcars roamed St. Louis City, check out the following videos:

This short video features streetcars operating out of Wellston Station and through the City of St. Louis shortly before streetcar service ended in the 1960s. Historic footage is courtesy of Mark D. Goldfeder, President of The St. Louis Railway Enthusiasts, Inc. (SLRE)

This short video features streetcars operating throughout St. Louis before they were taken out of service in the 1960s. Historic footage is courtesy of Mark D. Goldfeder, President of The St. Louis Railway Enthusiasts, Inc. (SLRE)

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  • Eddie in NorCal

    St. Louis streetcars, painted in the green and yellow scheme and with Illinois Terminal listed as the destination, still operate on the F line in San Francisco. They run from the Castro to Pier 39, on Market Street and the Embarcadero. The F line has cars from many cities — LA, San Diego, Philadelphia, etc. — all in their historically accurate colors, most of which were built by St. Louis Car Company.

  • Don

    My people come from East St Louis. For my grandparents and great grandparents the street car was an important part of life. My great grandmother was a Cardinals fan and regularly road the street car from 33rd and Bond in East St Louis to Sportsman’s Park to watch the Cardinals play. It was all day games then. How good the dinner was that night often depended on how well the Cardinals played that day.

    • Eric4326

      Streetcars crossed the river? On the Eads Bridge?

      • Don

        yep. East St Louis population peaked at 82,000 in 1950 and had a thriving downtown closely tied to St Louis.

  • John

    Wow. It looks like an effective mode of transportation in a peaceful, simpler time.

  • opendorz

    Man what a cool video. What a different time. I do have a fuzzy memory of that last Hodiamont line.