[Don’t] See the Twin Cities by Streetcar

Ever wonder where all the streetcars went? A subsidiary of GM bought them, burned them and put in a few buses and sold them back to the city once they were finally destroyed.

Here is a streetcar map of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1933!
Minneapolis and St. Paul by streetcar
map from here


Thanks hbh!

Taken for a Ride is a great documentary about this scandal.



about 14 years ago

and now they are paying through the nose for light rail, which won't be as extensive and is causing logistic bugaboos because things where built up on the auto model. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they are doing it, but it seems like re-inventing the wheel in some ways.


about 14 years ago

What we are paying through the nose for is the pentagon budget and all of the other little groups too. Right before the TARP bailout of $700 billion the Pentagon netted over $600 billion. If we could get that to be just half of what it is we could have light rail and subways in EVERY major city in less than 2 years.

Taxes aren't the problem. Spending our tax money unwisely definitely is.

Mark Ryan

about 14 years ago

One of the refurbished Duluth cars is used for nostalgic rides between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

Chester Dark

about 14 years ago

We need a modified streetcar to run up and down the hill in various spots. One running the length of Skyline would be cool too! Too bad we ain't got no money.

The Big E

about 14 years ago

"A shuttle streetcar ran from 52nd Avenue E. and Crosley Avenue to a connection with the 45th Avenue E. and Superior Street, where it connected with the bus to downtown. This is 45th & Superior, with the motorman waiting for the connecting bus."

The Big E

about 14 years ago



Bret Thiele

about 14 years ago

Some of the old Twin Cities streetcars were sold to Mexico City, where some are still in service.

It was GM, Firestone, and Standard Oil bought out the Twin Cities' system and destroyed it so they could profit on selling more buses and cars and tires and gasoline.  Scam.  At the time the Twin Cities had the most modern and best streetcar system in the U.S.


about 14 years ago

The original posting is incorrect about the fate of the Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) cars. GM did not buy nor burn. They did, however, offer the owners incredible incentives to switch to buses. Many TCRT street cars were new when the conversions to busses started that street cars were sold off to other cities in the U.S. and especially Mexico. 

In fact, some cars still operate today. I know for a fact that Dallas operates an old TCRT streetcar, and I've heard, but have not confirmed, that San Fran uses a few TCRT cars.

eco eco

about 14 years ago

There's an article in the NY Times about big increases in transit ridership nationally not preventing service cuts. St. Louis is cutting half of their bus service.


about 14 years ago

Mike, my post was not asking where the streetcars went in just Minneapolis and St. Paul, but everywhere. If you haven't you should watch the 'Taken for a Ride' Video. It is quite good. Renee Montagne from Public Radio is the narrator.

Here is the link again:


about 14 years ago

When I lived in the City of Brotherly Love, there was a streetcar that went from Center City to South Philly (where I lived) that I took often, b/c it was so cool. The line ran from Chestnut Hill all the way to South Philly. I don't think it runs anymore, and what a loss.

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