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 The James North & King West route

The James North & King West route (I)

Start of service: February 1, 1886
End of service: July 11, 1887
Route: James & Guise to King & Locke
Antecessor routes: King Street West Route, James Street Route

February 1, 1886
A reorganizing of the HSR's routes results in the formation of the James North & King West route, running from the steamship docks at James & Guise to King & Locke. Because of the colour of the streetcars that ran on the James North & King West route it was unofficially known as the Red route.

July 11, 1887
The James North & King West route is renamed the Red Route, no change in route.

The James North & King West route (II)

Start of service: June 16, 1890
End of service: May 23, 1893
Route: James & Guise to King & Locke
Antecessor routes: Red Route

June 16, 1890
The Red route is renamed back to the James North & King West route

Spring 1892
The HSR electrified most of its system in 1892.

June 30, 1892
The James North & King West route is the second route converted to electric operations.

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
At the start of April, construction of a new double track begins on Locke St at Herkimer, and by April 18 it had reached Main St. Originally the intention was to continue down Locke to King, but due to the narrowness of this section of Locke it was decided to go west on Main one block, go north on Margaret to King, then east on King to connect to the existing tracks. Track construction continued north on Locke to York as part of the Locke-Queen line. Track replacement on King West began on May 10 at King & Locke and proceeded eastwards, finishing by early June.

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. Trackwork on James was finished in early May.

May 17, 1893

The James North & King West route was extended onto the new tracks on King, Margaret, Main and Locke as far as to the corner of Locke & Herkimer. The route was renamed the West King & Steamboat Wharf route

The James North & King West route (III)

Start of service: March 5, 1895
End of service: 1922
Route: Guise loop at Guise & John to King & James via Guise and James, then forming one-way counter-clockwise loop along James, Herkimer, Locke, Main, Margaret and King.
Antecessor route: The West King & Steamboat Wharf route

March 5, 1895
The West King & Steamboat Wharf route was extended to form a one-way counter-clockwise loop via King, Margaret, Main, Locke, Herkimer and James, and the name was changed back to the James North & King West route. It retained the unofficial name of the Red route. Service in the other direction of this large loop was provided by the Barton, James & Herkimer route

The James North & King West route would see no further route changes until 1922, when the opening of streetcar service to Westdale would result in the merging of service on York St with the Herkimer-Locke-King-James loop, forming the York & King West route. Service on James North would be handled by the Westdale-James North route.

HSR 65 at Guise Loop, circa 1900.

HSR 65 at Guise Loop, circa 1900. (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives)

HSR 424 turning from James onto King West, August 1913

HSR 424 turning from James onto King West during the Hamilton Centennial in August 1913 (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives, used with permission)

Sources

Hamilton Spectator

"Traveller's Guide" February 1, 1886, pg 3
"Traveller's Guide" July 11, 1887, pg 3
"Traveller's Guide" June 16, 1890, pg 3
“Brief Local Items” Oct 6 1892, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” Apr 4 1893, pg 1
“Street Railway Extension - Work To Be Commenced To-Morrow on James Street North” Apr 6 1893, pg 8
“Brief Local Items” Apr 14 1893, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” Apr 18 1893, pg 1
“Brief Local Items” May 10 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
“Hamilton Street Railway Schedule” May 23 1893, pg 7
“Changes in Street Car Routes” Mar 5 1895, pg 1

"The Dominion Power and Transmission Co.'s Railway System" Canadian Railway and Marine World June 1913: pg 281-284

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