Charles River Street Railway

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    The Charles River Street Railway was organized in Boston in 1881 to compete with the Cambridge Railroad. The company was formed by a group of local businessmen led by Charles E. Raymond.

    The first lines constructed were those centering on Inman Square. Then, building on Columbia Street, the new company came into collision with the Union Railway. At Lafayette Square there was tearing up of track, and an injunction.​ The city of Cambridge had granted a location through Brookline Street, but it was found that, as had been predicted by opponents, Boston would not permit access to the city at the opposite end of the bridge.

    The Charles River Company went to the Legislature to obtain access at least to the Boston and Albany's Cottage Farm station.​ The Charles River Railway first reached Harvard Square via a line on Kirkland Street, originally a shuttle requiring a transfer at Washington and Beacon streets, Somerville. By 1883, there was through service from Harvard Square via Kirkland, Beacon, and Hampshire streets and the West Boston Bridge to Park Square, Boston. And by 1884, the Charles River had completed its road through back streets paralleling the main line of the Union. Leaving Harvard Square on Boylston Street, it ran over Mount Auburn Street to Putnam Avenue, then down one block to Green Street, which narrow way it followed to Central Square. Passing through Central Square on Main Street it turned up Columbia Street to Hampshire Street and in to Broadway, and then over the tracks of the Cambridge Railroad (which about this time started operating under its own name) to Bowdoin Square. This line was most unprofitable for obvious reasons.

    Meantime, the Cambridge Railroad built lines to Brighton both on Western Avenue and on Boylston and North Harvard streets, meeting at Barry's Corner. It also succeeded in expanding its Back Bay service. In 1882 there were four cars an hour and the limitation to cars from Brighton was removed. By 1885 the old Court or Third Street line had been reopened so that Somerville cars could reach the Charles Street route. The Cambridge Railroad absorbed the Charles River Railway on October 30, 1886. The Green Street line was reduced to half-hourly service at rush hours only. The Kirkland Street-Park Square line ran all day, but only once an hour.​

    The winds of change continued to blow more strongly and in 1887 the Cambridge Railroad itself was absorbed, along with nearly all the other street railways in the Boston area, into the West End Street Railway.

    2 products
    Charles River Street Railway Company Stock Certificate
    Charles River Street Railway Company Stock Certificate
    Charles River Street Railway Company
    $29.00
    Charles River Street Railway Company Stock Certificate
    Charles River Street Railway Company Stock Certificate
    Charles River Street Railway Company
    $15.00
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