New Orleans St Charles Streetcars

New Orleans St Charles Streetcars

New Orleans,

Known for the French Quarter and the Mardi Gras, the Crescent City of New Orleans also has one of America’s best preserved streetcar systems. The oldest tram network in the world, with a history that can be traced to 1835, the streetcars today operate on three distinct routes totaling around 13.7 miles, attracting more than 17,600 riders each day.

While the Canal Street and Riverside lines have charms of their own, the finest tram line in this Bayou town is the St. Charles Avenue route, transporting passengers from the edge of the historic French Quarter through the leafy Garden District to the Victorian Uptown area.

This is the oldest continuously operated line in the world, and the route makes use of historic Perley Thomas trams dating from 1923. Sit back and relax while these trams bisect streets lined with fragrant jacaranda trees and opulent antebellum mansions and look out for national landmarks such as the George Washington Cable House, the Anshe Sfard synagogue or the Commander’s Palace. Alight at Canal Street to sample the best New Orleans cocktails and Creole cuisine on the street’s numerous bars and restaurants. The entire trip takes around 45 minutes and tickets cost $1.25 for one-way journeys.

One of the most famous routes on the network was the old Desire line, immortalised in the Pulitzer Prize winning Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire. While this was one of the numerous lines axed in the 1940s and 50s, a proposal to reinstate part of the route is currently being considered as one of the ways to revitalise the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The New Orleans streetcar system is also recognised as being behind the birth of popular Louisiana snack Po’ boys, deep fried seafood or roast meat served in French bread. The delicacy was so-called after tram riders, or poor boys, were given free sandwiches by sympathetic locals during a four month strike in 1929.

St Charles Street Car Tours, New Orleans, LA 70115 

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