TC Streetcars

There was a time when every worthwhile town had a streetcar line.  Most were owned by the local electricity provider and almost all of them operated at a loss.  Yet their presence was an absolute necessity. So it was for Texas City, Texas.

The Texas City Improvement Company, and later the Texas City Company, knew that whatever commerce was to be conducted at Shoal Point would need supporting structures in the form of houses, businesses and an efficient route to the outside world.  So, modern transportation was a necessity.

While the Texas City Terminal Railway provided the early day passenger connections, there was still a need for transportation within the City limits. In addition to railroad’s freight and passenger operations, the Texas City Company operated a series of streetcars. Very little is known about these operations, but there are a few photographs which hint at what was. 

Below, an early 1900’s photo of the intersection of 6th Street and 9th Avenue, looking toward Galveston Bay.  In the middle of 9th Avenue (right) are two streetcars in the center of the Avenue:

The structure at this intersection still stands today:

Initially, the Company used two gasoline powered motorcars, #’s 20 and 21. In 1913, they bought two electric powered cars that were manufactured by McGuire Cummings, #’s 23 and 24. (Please see the photograph at the top of this page).  These two electric cars operated for only a few years before they too left the property. Below, a photo showing 6th Street looking southward from 10th Avenue.  The street is under construction, with the car rails in place but not yet in service.

Wheaton writes:

Early in 1912, the Texas City Street Railway Company was incorporated and on June 11, 1912, the city granted it a franchise. By the end of 1913, street car service was established over about 33 miles of track, from the uptown passenger depot at Tenth Avenue, North, and North Tenth Street to the wharves, to the north end of Sixth Street at Eighteenth Avenue, North, and on Eighth Avenue, North, to a connection with several passenger and freight boat lines  then operating across the Bay between Galveston and Texas City.

And:

On May 31, 1918, the Street railway service was discontinued, although the trolley wires and tracks were not removed until about 1923.

The street rail operations were presumably replaced by bus service.

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