Central West End

Railroads and Transit

Railroad service through the Central West End began with construction of the Wabash Railroad, then known as the St. Louis Kansas City and Western, shortly after the Civil War. Originally running at grade, the line has since been rebuilt in an open cut through Forest Park to Union and Lindell and thence westward to Delmar Station. It is now part of the Norfolk and Western System. Two of the many horse car lines operating in the City eventually penetrated into the Central West End by the 1880's. These were the Lindell Railway Company and the Missouri Railroad Company. The Lindell line reached Grand Avenue by 1878, and extended its tracks to Vandeventer in 1880, by way of Washington, Lucas and Delmar, returning over a loop on Finney to Grand.

In 1892, it ran west on Finney to Taylor and thence west on Delmar to DeBaliviere, and south into Forest Park, looping at the pavilion which later became the field house for golfers and tennis players. Another line of the Lindell Company came out Chouteau Avenue to Kingshighway in 1882, and by 1896, was extended westward along the south side of Forest Park. This firm also built cross-town lines on Vandeventer, Sarah, Euclid and Taylor by the early 1890's. All of its lines were electrified by 1890. After the transit consolidation of 1899, the Lindell east-west routes developed into the Delmar and Page lines.

The Missouri Railroad horse car line was built west on Olive Street to Grand by 1865. In the late 1880's, this line became a cable operation as far west as Sarah Street and was extended west to Kingshighway via Boyle and Maryland Avenues in 1889. This line ran a horse car during night hours until 1896, and ceased cable operations in 1900. Its cable line curves made necessary the angular cut off at the corners on Boyle at Olive and Maryland. These provided for a wider radius for the cable turn thereby lessening strain upon the cable. This route later became the Maryland-Olive line after electrification in 1901, and in 1949, the streetcars were replaced by buses. Another branch of the Missouri Railroad became the Laclede streetcar line in later years. It ran out Market Street and Laclede Avenue to Kingshighway and into Forest Park to a loop at a pavilion near Lindell.

It was electrified in the early nineties when the extension into the park was made. This portion was later abandoned when the Laclede line became a part of the Forest Park line in the 1930's. The Missouri Railroad also operated a branch on Vandeventer Avenue to Tower Grove station and later to Shaw's Garden. Another part of the Forest Park line was the old Lindell branch along the southern edge of Forest Park, which was later known as the Market Street line on Chouteau and Oakland Avenues. The former University line was built for the World's Fair and was later extended westward to Big Bend Boulevard. Double deck buses were run on lines on Lindell Waterman and Delmar-Washington by the People's Motor Bus Company after 1923.