Travelling by Trolley in Mississippi: Memphis and Lakeview Railway

Today’s post is Chapter 6 in our series re-printing Frank Brooks’ “Travelling by Trolley in Mississippi: Stories about Streetcars.” View other posts in the series at the “Streetcars” tab.


MEMPHIS – LAKEVIEW. West end Standard No. 551 is a prime exhibit of the type of car that was sold to Memphis – Lakeview Railway. Note cab windows and doors, which were also add-ons, as cars were originally open platform.

Lakeview, in DeSoto County, was the terminus of the Memphis and Lakeview Railway, a 10.8 mile interurban operation controlled by the Memphis Street Railway that ran between Memphis and Lakeview. Its mileage was computed from the Memphis city limits to Lakeview, located just inside the Mississippi state line. Cars operated over city trackage within Memphis, but ran over private right of way between the city limits and Lakeview. There were four medium size interurban cars assigned to this run. The short life span of this service was but 18 years, beginning in 1910 and ending in 1928.

David Steinberg of Chattanooga TN adds:

In 1911 the company is credited with four motored cars, eight trail cars and one work car.

Roster data is scarce on this company. What is known is that in 1910, four single truck closed cars were secured from the West End Street Railway Company of Boston, Massachusetts. These cars were numbered 559, 568, 709 and 733. They were built in the West End Street Railway Shops in 1893.

LeRoy O. King, Jr., of Dallas, TX, explains:

In the book ‘Streetcars of Boston,’ Vol. 1, by O.R. Cummings, 1973, the cars sold to Memphis and Lakevie Railway were built by Jones Car Co. in 1889. All were ex-Metropolitan 16-foot electric cars. They were remodeled in the West End shops in 1893. Not incidentally, one of these cars ended its days as a service car in Boston and survives at the Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport ME. Its number is 724.

Now more from O.R. Cummings’ book:

These were rebuilt with six windows, the center two of which were noticeably wider than the other four, and were given No. 1 roofs. They were known as the West End “Standard” type of spliced box.

The bodies of the spliced cars ranged in length from 19 to 21 feet. All had a seating capacity of 28 on two longitudinal seats, with upholstered cushions and backs, and had a rated seated-standee capacity of 80 persons.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Frank A. Brooks, Jr. has loved trains and streetcars for as long as he can remember.  He and his wife Jo Anne are parents of 2 children and grandparents of 4.  During his active ministry of  43 years in the Presbyterian Church he served in Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia and Arkansas.  In retirement, Dr. and Mrs. Brooks live in her hometown Corinth, MS.

Categories: Architectural Research

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