St. Louis Suburban Timetable 1904

Discussion in 'Public Timetables (PTTs)' started by pensive, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    The scans below are taken from a publication that appears to be a visitors guide to St. Louis shortly after the World's Fair closed: published in either late 1904 or 1905. The exact date cannot be determined because the first few pages are missing. Contents include maps, accomodations, attractions, a street directory and timetables of various railroads that served the city.

    The first scan is of the timetable of commuter trains the Frisco offered at the time from Union Station to Pacific. The second is of the St. Louis area. Note the names of points on the line to Springfield like Zelma, Shady Side and Spring Park which differ from those on the timetable. The lines with dots are streetcar lines active at the time. The third scan depicts the city of St. Louis itself and pinpoints locations like Cheltenham, Arloe and Gratiot which are now long gone. The fourth scan establishes the time frame of the booklet. It uses the word "reminiscence" and talks about the 1904 World's Fair in the past tense, which leads me to believe that this was published shortly after the close of the fair.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2011
  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Neat stuff Rich. Thanks for posting. Lots to study!

  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I would tend to disagree about the assessment of the time frame for the document.

    The St Louis World's Fair (colloquial name) was officially the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. It celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and how the Louisiana Purchase helped drive this country into the industrial and economic powerhouse it had become. The "Reminiscence" title refers to refers to reminiscing the past one hundred years of growth and expansion.
    For example, as of 1830 there were supposedly only about 30 miles of rail line laid on this continent. By 1904, that figure had skyrocketed to over 200,000 miles of rail.

    I believe the document was prepared as a tool to help potential travelers to the exposition in determining their travel plans.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2011
  4. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    This is quite a collection. The differing names for the locations are indeed odd. The person drawing the map of "Places of Interest..." clearly did not consult the Frisco Suburban Timetable! Could "Zelma" simply have been a misspelling of the street location of the South Webster Station (Selma Avenue)? That is, of course, hard to believe given the editorial standards of the time. 1909 plots show the name "Selma."

    That South Kirkwood went by "Spring Park" and Webster Groves went by "Shadyside" is worth checking out with the Webster or Kirkwood Historical Societies.

    Finally, the huge blank areas in St. Louis south of Chippewa and Pernod are amazing. The area does look newer, but it is astonishing that "newer" means less than 104 years ago! Thanks for sharing this.
  5. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    George, don't you know that all dose old chermans down on Zelma warsh dere hans in de zinc?
  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Ja ja, und zey dint kno how ta spill so gut!

    w3hodoug likes this.
  7. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

  8. DanHyde

    DanHyde Member

    Das ist ein gefallege ding[ kein umlaut]
    I liked the city view that shows the old trolley line to West Heights, soon to be Richmond Heights. Up until a few years ago, you could still see the stripe down the middle of Rankin
    Ave. and Arlington where the tracks were. Oh dear, showing my age again.
  9. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    Further study of the booklet reinforces my belief that it was printed after the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition or St. Louis World's Fair, most likely in 1905. Several of the timetables include statements like "In effect Dec 15th, 1905"; all except for one date to 1905. For an example, see the first attachment. In the "Places of interest" (second attachment) it lists the St. Louis Public Museum, which is now the Art Museum, and again talks about the Exhibition in the past tense and describes its use after the Fair.

    Dan, I know what you are talking about. Now I know why Lockwood Ave in Webster Groves has a wide strip of land between the lanes; There used to be a trolley running down the middle!


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2011
  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Well Rich, with the cards laid out fully, I can see that my assessment was not built on a full hand; you held more cards than you originally showed! LOL

    I agree that the 1905 timeframe makes more sense for the complete booklet.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2011
  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Neat, Rich! The 1905 MP suburban TT is of great interest to me. The old MP Creve Coeur line ran by very close to where we live. You can still see some of the ROW today.

  12. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Anyone modeling the Frisco in St. Louis during the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition should get the DVD that also includes added material about the filming of "Meet me in St. Louis" which starred Judy Garland. The houses followed the architecture of the period and even the costumes were made from doing research in the Sears Roebuck catalog. A pity that MGM didn´t consider adding any trains in the movie but the trolley with Judy singing "The Trolley Song" is worth watching the flick in itself.

    Little details, like the stepping stone along the curb of the street that aided passengers in the horse drawn buggies step down without a fall should be included in period modeling of this era. It would be interesting to know just how many Frisco fans model this long ago lost era of the American Way of Life? Of course the Main Street USA entrance to Disney World in Orlando and a ride on the Walt Disney World RR can give one a small taste of how it was to travel to Saint Louie on the Frisco right after the turn of the 20th Century but watching the movie with your family is very entertaining and perhaps a lesson to children and adults alike to consider how simple life seemed to be back then.

    Of course, familes have always struggled to raise and educate a family, but in our ultra modern high tech cell phone computerized Big Brother post 9/11 society it is a pleasure to consider how life was in this part of history when Edison´s inventions were still new and exciting and like the telephone shown in the movie and Halloween was a time when children could be outdoors without the fears they face today.

    If I had the space, doing this in G scale would really be cool! How about live steam and real gas lights? At any rate, even taking the liberties that MGM did with the trolley the movie is good clean entertainment in our somewhat tarnished world we live in today.

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Here is another timetable showing the St Louis commuter operations the Frisco once ran, this from February, 1912. Lots of action at the rush hours!

    This was handed out at the 2015 annual meeting of the TRRA Hist & Tech Society. St Louis commuter service lasted until the early 1930's - I have a June, 1931 timetable that shows them still running.


    Attached Files:

    frisco1522 likes this.
  14. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I've always wondered: what killed the commuter service? I just always figured they weren"t that profitable, and with receivership for the SL-SF, it was curtains for commuter service in St. Louis.

    Best Regards,
  15. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I am working on an article that concerns the "scarecrows" of the passenger train. Regardless the crash of '29, the days of the passenger train were numbered well before the crash and ensuing Great Depression. The Ford Model-T went into production during 1909 and production ceased during 1927. During this time span, 14.7mm Model-T’s rolled off the assembly lines. That's what killed the commuter train, and ultimately the passenger train.
  16. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Along with the ever increasing quality and number of paved roads and highways. The convenience and flexibility of a family automobile and decent roads made for stiff competition for the rails. Alas!

    But, I often wished we still had commuter rail service in St Louis as an option when trying to get downtown via the I-64, I-70, I-55, I-44 morning jams. The local MetroLink light rail system has enjoyed more commuter ridership than they expected, but it has limited routes (2).

  17. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Supporter Supporter

    What a GREAT collection of documents on this whole thread! And what a marvelous transportation network there was in those days! Yeah we lament the automobile and the interstates, but at least we have this little window into 1905.
    I remember our family went to St. Louis to see some ball games in about 1953 and since these were night games, my folks were wanting to see some of the sights around the town during the day (Shaw's Gardens etc.). When were checking in to our (really dingy) hotel, my dad asked directions to Forest Park. The bored and surly desk clerk paused a minute and called over another equally and surly clerk and they talked it over for a couple of minutes. The main guy said: "Sorry sir, I don't really remember how to get there, I haven't been out there since the Fair." Which had been about fifty years earlier. He'd probably been at that desk since 1905...

    Tom G.
  18. fwober

    fwober Member

    I don't remember which library/historical society, probably in St. Louis, but there is a microfilm reel of MP and SLSF suburban timetables at St. Louis, going back to pre WW1.
    Michael Lowe
  19. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Would love to find that resource!
    In addition to the SLSF and MoP offering commuter service in the St Louis area, there was the Rock Island (I have a poor copy of a TT) and perhaps others - Wabash?
    What about commuter service from Illinois?
  20. geep07

    geep07 Member

    You can thank GM (General Motors) and some political factors for the decline of commuter service in the St. Louis area. The trolley car system was replaced by buses and the air quality reeked of diesel fumes.


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