The Eastern Branch
Start of service: May 18 1874
The Eastern Branch was one of the first routes operated by the HSR, starting on May 18, 1874. The Eastern Branch ran from the Great Western Railway station at Stuart & Caroline to King & Wellington via Stuart, James and King St East. The cars on the Eastern branch were painted green, with the route described on the side of the horsecar, above the windows. By July 1 of that year, the Eastern Branch was extended along King to the city limits at Wentworth.
The route was cut back on Stuart from Caroline to Bay at some point around 1875, as it was found that the hill on Stuart was too steep for fully loaded horsecars. On May 26 1877, the Eastern Branch was renamed the Green route, to match the colour of the cars.
Bird's-eye view of Stuart St in 1876, looking southeast. In the centre is the original HSR car and horse barn built in 1874. The large building in the lower right corner is the second Stuart St station, opened in 1876. Notice that the tracks do not reach the station because it was found that the hill next to the station was too steep for horses to pull a fully loaded horsecar. (Image taken from a larger map located here).
Bird's-eye view of eastern Hamilton in 1876, looking southeast. The Eastern Branch ended at the corner of King & Wentworth, while the tracks continued along Wentworth and along Main as part of the East Hamilton route. (Image taken from a larger map located here).
"Street Railway - Special arrangements for Dominion Day and the Races" June 29, 1874, pg 3
Mills, John M. Cataract Traction; The Railways of Hamilton. Toronto: Upper Canada Railway Society/Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association, 1971