The James Street Route
Start of service: June 3, 1878
Construction began on April 26, 1878 on a single track on James north of Stuart. By May 13 the tracks had reached the steamboat (MacKay's) wharf at James & Guise.
June 3, 1878
Service was so popular on the route that in 1879 the HSR decided to expand and upgrade the route. The track on James north of Stuart was twinned, while the existing tracks on James between Stuart and King were rebuilt due to increased ridership and greater than expected track wear starting on April 7. As well new track construction began on James between King and Herkimer on May 1, 1879 using rails salvaged from track rebuilding on King and James streets. HSR #17 & #18 were the first HSR horsecars designed to be pulled by two horses, and were specifically built for service on James street, and arrived on May 29. They were painted in the tartan of the Scotish clan of Maclean and/or Macduff, and as a result the James street route was informally called the Plaid or Check route.
May 30, 1879
Construction of new tracks along Herkimer Street between James and Queen began on May 9, 1883 and was completed by June 11.
June 11, 1883
February 1, 1886
Mills, John M. Cataract Traction; The Railways of Hamilton. Toronto: Upper Canada Railway Society/Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association, 1971