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 The Barton, James & Herkimer route

The Barton, James & Herkimer route

Start of service: November 14, 1891
End of service: Circa 1900
Route: Herkimer & Locke to Barton & Wentworth via Herkimer, James and Barton. Later extended along Barton and Ottawa to the Grand Trunk Railroad, and extended along Locke, Main, Margaret and King to form clockwise one-way loop
Antecessor routes: Barton Street, South Division

November 14, 1891
On November 14, 1891 the HSR merged the Barton Street route with the South Division route, creating a new route named the Barton, James & Herkimer route. Running from Herkimer & Locke to Barton & Wentworth via Herkimer, James and Barton. Becuase of the colour of the streetcars that ran on the Barton, James & Herkimer route it was unofficially known as the Yellow route.

Spring 1892
The HSR electrified most of its system in 1892. The installation of poles for the overhead wires on James St North began at Cannon on April 18. Double tracking the single track line on Herkimer began at Herkimer & Queen on May 1. By May 9 the double track had reached Bay St, and was running up James street by May 17. Double tracking was completed on James St south in early June. Double tracking began on Barton at the east end on May 9, and was completed by May 30.

July 1, 1892
The Barton, James & Herkimer route becomes the third route converted to electric operation. However it was temporarily converted back to horsecar service on July 4 when it was discovered that additional feeder cables were required for the ends of the electric system furthest from the powerhouse, otherwise not enough electricity would be available for the streetcars. By July 6, the feeder cables were installed, and test cars ran on Herkimer and on Barton, with full electric service beginning on July 11.

October 6, 1892
the HSR's double track that had existed before 1892 was not rebuilt when the system was electrified. Due to its age and the faster, heavier streetcars now running on it, this track very quickly broke down. On October 6, crews were installing a new crossover on James at York, and repairing the switches at James & King.

Spring 1893
On April 5, 1893 construction begins on Barton street to extend the tracks eastwards along Barton to the newly built Driving Park at Barton & Ottawa, and then north on Ottawa to the crossing of the Grand Trunk Railway. Construction began at Sherman heading east in Barton Township, due to a dispute with the city of Hamilton over the planned placement of tracks between the end of the line at Wentworth and the city limits at Sherman, as well as due to sewer construction on Barton between Sanford & Wentworth. By April 10 grading along the route was mostly complete and tracks had been laid almost as far as today's Gage Avenue. The trackage in Barton township was finished by May 12, and construction had begun on the tracks heading west from Sherman. By May 26 the new Barton tracks had been connected to the new tracks built on Sanford, and a temporary service was running between Gore Park and the Driving Park via King, Sanford and Barton. However, the sewer construction dragged on through the summer and construction on the final section between Wentworth and Sanford did not start until late August. Track construction on Barton was finally finished on September 5.

On April 7, 1893 a total replacement of all old track began on James St, starting with the section between Roberts and Barton. This section was completed by April 14, at which point replacement of track between Barton and Stuart began. As a result of this track work, the Barton, James & Herkimer route was split in two. Service on Barton ran from the city limits to James, while service on Herkimer and James ran from Locke to Gore Park. Trackwork on James was finished in early May, and the Barton, James & Herkimer route was reunited.

September 5, 1893
With the completion of trackwork on Barton, the Barton, James & Herkimer route was extended east on Barton to Ottawa, then north on Ottawa to the tracks of the Grand Trunk Railroad

March 5, 1895
The Barton, James & Herkimer route was extended to form a one-way clockwise loop via James, Herkimer, Locke, Main, Margaret and King. Service in the other direction of this large loop was provided by The James North & King West route.

Around 1900 the Barton, James & Herkimer route was discontinued. Service on Barton was replaced by the King East & Barton, while service on the James-Herkimer-Locke-King loop was replaced by the GTR & James South route.

Sources

Hamilton Spectator

"Better Street-Car Service - Several Much-Desired Improvements Soon To Be Made" November 6 1891, pg 8
“Brief Local Items” November 13 1891, pg 1
“The Street Railway - A City Firm to Make the Iron Work For the Power House” Apr 18 1892, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” May 1 1892, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” May 9 1892, pg 1
“Four Hundred Men At Work - Operations on the Electric Street Railway-Pushing Forward the Work” May 17 1892, pg 8
“The Trolley Operations - The Motors are Here to Place on the Present Cars" May 27 1892, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” July 4 1892, pg 1
“More Trolley Power - The Second Engine at the Power House Is Now Going" July 6 1892, pg 8
“Brief Local Items” Oct 6 1892, pg 1
“Work Begun On Barton Street - The Street Railway Company Has Commenced Operations at the Toll-Gate" Apr 5 1893, pg 8
“Street Railway Extension - Work To Be Commenced To-Morrow on James Street North" Apr 6 1893, pg 8
“The Race Track Line - The Street Railway Company's Men Are Hustling" Apr 10 1893, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” Apr 14 1893, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” Apr 21 1893, pg 1
“Street Railway Extension - Progress of the Work in Various Parts of the City-Over 400 Men Employed” May 12 1893, pg 8
“All Aboard For The Track - The Line to the Driving Park Is Completed" May 26 1893, pg 1
“To Finish To-Day - Street Railway Construction Has Ended For This Year” Sept 5 1893, pg 1
“Changes in Street Car Routes” Mar 5 1895, pg 1

Mills, John M. Cataract Traction; The Railways of Hamilton. Toronto: Upper Canada Railway Society/Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association, 1971