Obviously, the viewer reading this page is doing so in an attempt to turn back the hands of time to an earlier era when streetcars headed out to Lorraine. Ironically, however, the Lorraine streetcars, (and the buses that later replaced them) were in themselves time machines that transported their passengers to an era that had all but vanished even in the days when the cars were still running. In essence, it was among the most quaint and picturesque lines to run in the Baltimore area.
Service on the Lorraine line commenced New Years Day of 1904, At this time, the line operated as a feeder from Lorraine through the village of Dickeyville into Windsor Hills and finally ending at Walbrook Junction, where connections could be made to #4 and #13 streetcar lines. Later on, in 1917, another connection would be established to the #31 Streetcar line running out Garrison Boulevard.
In 1920, the line was reconfigured. Route #35 was now a one seat ride from Hillsdale (Dickeyville) into Downtown. A separate shuttle was operated from Hillsdale to the Lorraine Cemetery. Route #35 used the rails of Route #4 into town, but looped in the same manner as Route #14, instead of travelling out to Monument Street. Due to the trunk-like nature of the line, it woud seem practical that the line operated using Double Truck Cars, but references seem slow to point out what types of cars were assigned to this line during this era of its operation, although Single Truck cars were used for the shuttle operation from Hillsdale to Lorraine.
Regardless, the line resumed its original setup in August of 1929, operating as a "Jerkwater" between Walbrook and Lorraine, and for this it recieved a number of Single Truck "Rebuilds" built in 1904 for operation. These cars were soon after retired, and a number of Double Ended Semi-Convertibles of 1910 through 1912 vintage from Edmondson were assigned to the operation around 1931. For the many years from this point until conversion to bus, the line would be served with nothing but Double Ended Semi Convertibles.
Route #35 was home to one of the more obscure of BTC's operations as well. For many years, just west of the company's bridge across the Gwynns Falls, a switch diverged off Westbound to Northwest leading into aquarry, where another trailing switch came in from the East leading to a dead end. It can be perceived that this is where most of the comapny's Ballast was furnished, although this is not officially confirmed. In any event, the track is still shown on a 1939 map, but is absent in a 1945 map, leading one to conclude that this operation lasted until about the early 1940's. There are no photos believed to exist of this quarry or the lead track to it.
It can almost be thought that the #35 line was forgotten when the BTC took over in 1935. Early plans that mentioned retention and conversion of routes fail to make light of any early plans for this line. The extensive use of Private Right-of-Way would lead to a great deal of challenges to converting the line, and for the continuing years through World War II, the line continued to delve into the woods on its journey to Dickeyville and Lorraine.
Despite the high maintenance costs of the right of way and trestle near Gwynns Falls, the line continued to operate much as it did at the turn of the Century in the years following the war as well. By 1951, only three semi-convertibles were required to operate this relic. However, the time was running out for the #35 line as a mass of conversions saw several streetcar lines of much more influence converted or curtailed, and the vast majority of the Semi-Convertible fleet scrapped by late 1952.
The line hung on for an exceptional amount of time however, as the very same section of Private Right-of-Way that was such a costly headache to maintain, was also responsible for making the idea of replacement bus service quite a challenge. Still, BTC looked to expand its #35 line service, and saw the opportunity to run a bus line along a more Northerly route along Forest Park Avenue. This raised some objection from the community in which the new bus was to run (early NIMBYs!). Plans were in motion though, as bulletins advised Car Operators to lay over south of the Lorraine Layover to allow a fill to be installed for a new Bus loop on the site of the previous Streetcar Layover. Finally, with the completion of the service day on February 27, 1954. Route #35 streetcar service was discontinued, to be resumed the next day under the operation of the #35 bus line. Among the clues of the rustic operation of the line to its finish was the bulletin explaining the stops along the right-of-way that would be discontinued with the conversion - among them "Mill Gate," "O'Neill's Stop," "Private Stop," and "Stanford Stop."
With conversion of the #35 line to a bus line, operation of the line moved from the Edmondson Division to Belvedere Avenue Divsion. The new routing left the original routing to operate along Westchester, Lawina, Wakefield, Fairview, Granada, and Forest Park Avenue before rejoining the route of the Car line just North of Wetherdsville Road. Soon after operation of the bus line commenced, Operators were instructed that when pulling into Belvedere from Walbrook, they were to operate with signs set "58-Belvedere Loop." This seems to suggest that Fords may have been used for the initial service, although this is not verified.
Selected service on the bus line was operated to serve the Daniels Mill in Dickeyville, using Pickwick and Wetherdsville Roads to operate from Forest Park Avenue. The loop at Daniels Mill was initially Counter-Clockwise, but was changed to Clockwise with Bulletin 243-54 of October 5, 1954. The trips into the Mill were eventually dropped in the late 1950's, although no notice survives to indicate when.
After the closure of Belvedere in 1960, the line appears to have been reassigned to Retreat Street, by which point TDH-4507's of the 1500 series were typically assigned. Later, in September of 1962, Route #35 was extended to operate into the Windsor Gardens Apartments via Dickey Hill Road and Tucker Lane. The next year, on July 23, 1963, the curving stretch of Talbot Road in Windsor Hills was converted to a one-way street, and Westbound buses were rerouted to operate via Clifton Road, which had been paved along a former swath of of the Streetcar's Right-of-Way.
However, the #35 bus began to seem just as antiquated as the streetcar line by the mid-1960's. Despite the expansion to newer developments, the line was still basically isolated. However, the conversion of the #15 line to Bus in November of 1963 raised the possibility of once again through-routing the service. It would be another few years, but on January 30, 1966, Route #15 absorbed all of Route #35. It had been nearly 40 years since the residents of Dickeyville could have a one-seat ride into Downtown, although by this time, the line's operation in the old Dickeyville area was not quite as convenient. Gone, however, was Baltimore's route #35.
Or so it seemed, The designation "#35" would see use again three times, first later in the year on a very short lived shuttle from U.M.B.C. to Catonsville Community College, then again in 1968 on a Coldspring Lane Line, before finally being assigned to it's current incarnation deriving from the former Rosedale Passenger Lines Operation.
As for the long-deceased Lorraine Streetcar, there are many clues as to it's once whereabouts, if one knows where to look. The Right of way descending from Windsor Hills into the Gwynns Falls Valley is still very much intact, as well as the brief stretch South of Wetherdsville Road West of the Bridge. The bridge itself is gone, but both concrete abutments remain in place. Hints of never covered rail can be located where the short p-r-w stretch dumps out into Wetherdsville Road, while poorly covered tracks are quite prominent within Wetherdsville Road itself to the point at which the line curved off to the West behind the houses along it. Final remnant is one slightly bent span wire pole that survives along Forest Park Avenue at the point where the line emerged from Dickeyville.
All in all, while the Lorraine Line was never really one of the more prominent lines in the area, it could certainly be considered to be the most interesting operation, especially for its obscurity.
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