Monday, April 18, 2011

Ellicott City No. 9 Streetcar

The number 9 streetcar which turned around in Ellicott City, MD has a long history with great, big expectations that were never met. From what I have briefly read, there were plans to connect the line with Washington, D.C. But the top of the hill in Ellicott City was the end of the line for old number 9. The turnaround here in my painting was located on Main Street next to the old fire station on the corner of what is now called Ellicott Mills Drive. At the end of its life there was but one car on the line which outbound riders boarded near the Catonsville Junction on Edmondson Avenue. If you were heading home from downtown you had to transfer from the Number 8 or 14 and wait for the one and only car to return through the woods of Oella. Riders talk about standing in the cold at night waiting for the car. In winter when the trees were bare they could see the one headlight on the car as it slowly zigzagged toward them from miles away. Every night after the car finished its daily service the operator had to securely lock the car to the tracks. This was to prevent energetic teenagers from taking it on joy rides as they had in the past. Now I do not condone this sort of behavior but what a wild ride that must have been for the teens....operating a streetcar minus the supervision of adults. It might be like your very own amusement park ride....but as I said not a good use of Baltimore Transit Company property.

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