In the northern part of the area are the parallel main lines of the Missouri Pacific and Frisco railroads. The former, then known as the Pacific Railroad, was built through the area before the Civil War, while the Frisco was constructed in the 1880's. The Oak Hill branch of the Missouri Pacific, which veers off of the main line just west of Tower Grove Avenue, was built about 1886 to serve as a connecting link with the Iron Mountain line in Carondelet.
Residential development in the Shaw area began in the early 1890's about the same time that electrification of local transit lines occurred. Before that time, service had been provided by horse car lines, most of which operated east of Grand Avenue. Before the transit consolidation of 1899, service was furnished by several independent companies. Among those operating to or through the area was the Market Street branch of the Missouri Railroad, when ran out Old Manchester Road to Tower Grove Avenue and thence south to Magnolia. A later extension operated southwest to Southampton by way of Kingshighway. The Tower Grove line, on Arsenal Street, was a branch of the Union Depot Railroad, which terminated at Kingshighway in the nineties. The Compton and Park streetcar lines were developed from the Compton Heights line of the Lindell Railway Company.
The former ran on Shenandoah to Thurman and thence south to Magnolia, while the Park branch came out Park Avenue to 39th Street and then operated south to Shenandoah. The Tiffany line connected the transit offices and shops at 39th and Park with Chouteau Avenue. Originally, the Manchester line was a part of the Suburban Railway system to Maplewood and Kirkwood. All of these streetcar lines came under the management of the United Railways Company after the consolidation, and at present they are served by motor buses of the Bi-State Transit Agency. The Lindenwood line of the Peoples Motorbus Company ran through the area in the 1920's and 30's, via Vandeventer, Shaw, Spring and Russell. A portion of this route is now served by the Lafayette bus line on Shaw Avenue.