As Cincinnatians prepare for the grand opening of the new streetcar later this summer, rail historians mark April 29 as the 65th anniversary of the final run of the original streetcars in the Queen City.
Long gone are the days of the horse-drawn streetcar that began its reign in Cincinnati on September 14, 1859. The horse-drawn cars led way to the installation of cable cars, as Cincinnati’s great hills proved too tiresome for the horses. In 1889, the city turned to electric vehicles, the predecessor of today’s streetcar, as they were cheaper and more reliable to operate.
When the new Cincinnati Streetcar opens this year it will travel a 3.6-mile loop connecting the Banks, Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
Facts about the new streetcar:
- Five streetcar vehicles
- 77 feet long; 40 tons
- 154 capacity (seated and standing)
- 18 boarding stations with real-time display screens & ticket vending machines
- 100% low-floor boarding makes it easier for those with wheel chairs, strollers and bikes
The streetcar service will complement Metro’s bus service offering riders a new and exciting multi-modal way to travel throughout the urban core - just as the first horse-drawn cars did in 1859.