Fort Worth’s first street car line was built in late 1876 after the Texas & Pacific Railroad had stormed into town that summer. The immediate impetus for the line was the god-awful traffic jams on the main thoroughfares that came with “boom town” status. And there was the simple need to get from the train depot on the extreme south end of town to the public square and courthouse on the far north end. The distance was almost exactly one measured mile.
The Fort Worth Street Railway Co. (FWSR), as they called themselves, started with $50,000 in capital. They hurriedly laid a single-track line that ran the length of Main Street. They generally cut corners in every way possible, such as by not bothering to grade the route but just laying the ties on top of the ground. Power was provided by a single mule, “and not a very large mule either,” old-timers would recall later. That would begin to change when electricity arrived in Fort Worth in 1890.
The FWSR was the city’s only public transportation until 1884, but the system grew rapidly after that. By the time deep-pocketed Eastern investors bought the company after the turn of the century, it had “upwards of 12 miles of track” crisscrossing the city.
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Fort Worth Magazine