The St. Charles line

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(139:  St. Charles line streetcar.  New Orleans, LA.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The St. Charles line in New Orleans is the oldest operating streetcar line in the world.  It has been in service for more than 150 years.  When in New Orleans, don’t call the streetcar a “trolley.”  Although “trolley” and “streetcar” are used interchangeably in some places, New Orleanians call them streetcars.

Rumor has it that there has been a ghost-sighting along Carrolton Avenue on the St. Charles line.  A tourist couple has been seen by a conductor, heads bent together over maps and tour books, looking as normal and as real as any other tourist couple.  And then, well, suddenly they disappear into thin air!

My guess is that they liked New Orleans so much that they decided to come back and ride around on the streetcars occasionally as part of one big afterlife party.  Or perhaps they were so lost that they’re still trying to get to their original destination (hence the need for the maps and tour books!).

Whatever the case, hauntings or no hauntings, riding the St. Charles line is an inexpensive, romantic, and lovely way to see parts of New Orleans.    The St. Charles streetcar will take you through parts of the Garden District where you will see some impressive homes, churches, and antebellum mansions.  Along St. Charles Avenue it passes through a tunnel of live oak trees.  And if you want to visit one of the cemeteries and perhaps find a few ghosts of your own, the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is just a block or two from a St. Charles line stop.

4 Comments on “The St. Charles line”

  1. Bo Mackison says:

    I remember traveling on this streetcar route. The homes were like eye candy! Nice. Still going all haunted, good going.

  2. amuirin says:

    The quality of your photo does give it a rather ethereal appearance, which is some feat- if the streetcars in San Francisco were anything to go by.


    • Robin says:

      Amuirin: I think it would have been more difficult to capture such a shot on a San Francisco streetcar because of all the tourists. We happened to get lucky in New Orleans, going early in the morning on a weekday before the crowds arrived for JazzFest. Other than the conducter and the guy sitting up front, we were the only people on the streetcar for a while so it gave me an opportunity to take a few pictures using different settings.

      During our trip to San Francisco, I don’t think we ever road a streetcar or trolley that was as empty, no matter what time of day.

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