The King East & Barton route
Start of service: Circa 1900
Around 1900, the King East & Barton route was created to run from Barton & Ottawa to Main & Sherman via Barton, James North, King East and Sherman.
At the start of the 20th Century, Hamilton's waterfront began to rapidly industrialize. To provide service to these new plants and factories, the HSR struck a deal with the HRER. Rather than create their own set of tracks, the HSR built a single track parallel to the HRER's already existing single track along Birch St and Burlington as far as Sherman in 1904, in effect creating a double-tracked line that allowed the HRER to increase their service and the HSR to reach the new industries. Half of all streetcars on the King East & Barton route coming out of the downtown core along Barton were routed north along the 'Deering branch', named for the Deering Works (part of International Harvester) at Burlington & Sherman. Most often used in this service were the HSR's Stephenson cars, used so often that they were nicknamed 'Deering Cars'.
In 1913, the tracks on Barton St were extended east on Barton to Kenilworth, south on Kenilworth to Main, and west on Main to King, where they met the HRER's Bartonville Branch. The HSR took over the HRER tracks on Main between King and Sherman, doubled them, and connected them to the HSR tracks, creating a large loop along James, Barton, Kenilworth, Main, Sherman and King. This new loop was serviced by the Belt Line, which replaced the King East & Barton route in October of 1913. At about this time the Deering Branch was spun off to form part of the Crosstown route.
This unused postcard shows an HSR streetcar on the King East & Barton route at King St E & Mary St, circa 1910.
HSR 417 at an unknown location, circa 1912. The side rollsign reads 'KING E. & BARTON'. (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives)
HSR 429 sometime in the summer of 1912 or 1913, location unknown. The streetcar is signed 'Jockey Club,' which was at the eastern end of Barton. (From Vintage Postcards of Hamilton, used with permission)
HSR 455 sometime in the summer of 1912 or 1913, location unknown. The streetcar is signed 'Jockey Club,' which was at the eastern end of Barton. (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives, used with permission)
Mills, John M. Cataract Traction; The Railways of Hamilton. Toronto: Upper Canada Railway Society/Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association, 1971