From The Vault: Take a look at Cincinnati's old streetcar

Watch archive video

CINCINNATI – Welcome back, Cincinnati streetcar.

The old streetcar holds a warm place in our transportation hearts, beginning with the first electric streetcar in 1888 to its last run 65 years ago on April 29, 1951.

At its heyday, streetcars and the trolley buses that followed crisscrossed 222 miles of track through the city, the suburbs and Northern Kentucky. Of course, the automobile eventually made them obsolete.  

With so much hubbub about the new streetcar, we thought you might like to see video of the old one.

Thirty years ago, WCPO's John Matarese reported on the history of the streetcar as well as the Cincinnati inclines and the ill-fated subway. (Watch in the video player above). His 1986 report included a look ahead at Tri-State transportation possibilities for the future. No one predicted another streetcar. One expert promoted the idea of high-speed commuter rail. Unfortunately, that never happened, and so we still get stuck in never-ending traffic jams on I-75 and I-71.

RELATED: How Cincinnati was "built by streetcars"

The video below shows streetcars and trolley buses operating in Norwood, Oakley, Clifton, Winton Place, Hyde Park and Price Hill.

Cincinnati by streetcar, trolley bus

The next video shows the streetcar coming and going from Northern Kentucky by way of Dixie Terminal in Downtown across the Suspension Bridge. At the time, the streetcar passed through much undeveloped land in Kenton County to the end of the line in Fort Mitchell. That's why it looks like a jungle.

Northern Kentucky by streetcar

SEE more video and Tri-State history in our "From The Vault" series.

Print this article Back to Top