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 The James Street Route

The James Street Route

Start of service: June 3, 1878
End of service: February 1, 1886
Route: From James & Guise to James & Stuart. Later extended along James to Herkimer, and then later along Herkimer to Queen.

Construction began on April 26, 1878 on new tracks on James north of Stuart. By May 13 the tracks had reached the steamboat (MacKay's) wharf at James & Guise.

June 3, 1878
New service begins on James street from the steamboat wharf at James & Guise to James & Stuart. Because of the paintscheme of the horsecars assigned to the route, it was informally called the Plaid or Check route.

Service is extended south on James to Herkimer

Service is extended west on Herkimer to Queen

February 1, 1886
A reorganization of the HSR's routes splits the James Street Route. Service on James south of King and on Herkimer is handled by the new GTR Station, James and Herkimer route, while service on James north of Stuart becomes part of the James North and King West route. Both of these routes ran on James street between King and Stuart.


Hamilton Spectator
“Local Items” April 26, 1878, pg 4
“Local Items” May 13, 1878, pg 4
"Local Briefs" June 3, 1878, pg 3
"Traveller's Guide" November 18, 1879, pg 3
"Traveller's Guide" February 1, 1886, pg 3

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