Hamilton Street Railway: Wikis


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Hamilton Street Railway
New Flyer C40LF #510213 on the 5C route in downtown Hamilton.
Founded 1874
Headquarters 2200 Upper James St.
Locale Hamilton, Ontario
Service area Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Dundas, Ancaster and Burlington.
Service type Public Transit
Fuel type Diesel, CNG, Diesel hybrid
Operator City of Hamilton
Web site Official Website

The Hamilton Street Railway Company (HSR) is the Transit Division of the City of Hamilton, Public Works Department [1] in Ontario, Canada. The name is a legacy of the days when the majority of public transit vehicles were streetcars; the present-day Hamilton Street Railway is in fact a bus operator.




Bus routes

New Flyer D40LFs like this one seen at McMaster University form much of the HSR’s recent bus fleet.
In 2007, the HSR introduced articulated hybrid buses for the route 10 Beeline Express.
Route 99 - Waterfront Shuttle (2008)
No. Name Notes
1/1A King Route 1 travels all day from Eastgate Square to Hamilton GO Centre. Sunday service extends to Fiesta Mall. Route 1A provides peak service that extends to McMaster University.
2 Barton Travels from Hamilton GO Centre to Bell Manor Loop.
3 Cannon Travels from Hamilton GO Centre to Reid & Dunsmure.
4 Bayfront Travels from Downtown to Mt. Albion Loop.
5/5A/5E Delaware Route 5 travels from Head St Loop to King & Jones. Route 5A travels from The Meadowlands to Greenhill & Cochrane. Route 5E travels from Governors & Guelph to Quigley & Greenhill.
5B/5C West Hamilton Route 5B travels from King & Jones to University Plaza, with no weekend service. Route 5C travels from Quigley & Greenhill, with alternating trips to West Hamilton Loop or The Meadowlands. Route 5C does not serve The Meadowlands on weekends.
6 Aberdeen Travels from Downtown to Princess Point Loop.
7 Locke Travels from Downtown to Hillcrest Loop.
8 York Travels from Downtown to Lamoreaux & Strathcona
9 Rock Gardens Summer Sunday and holiday service only. Travels from Downtown to Holy Sepulchere Cemetery in Burlington.
10/10A B-Line Weekday express service from Eastgate Square. Route 10 travels to University Plaza. Route 10A is a shortened version that truncates at McMaster University.
11 Parkdale Travels from Valley Park Loop to Burlington Bus Terminal.
12 Wentworth Counterclockwise loop running from Wentworth & Mars to Victoria & King. The route only operates on weekdays, with no midday service.
16 Ancaster Travels from The Meadowlands to Duffs Corner, with no Sunday Service.
18 Waterdown Travels from Waterdown & Parkside to Aldershot GO Station in Burlington. Service is only provided during weekday peak hours.
20 A-Line Weekday peak hour express service from Downtown to Hamilton International Airport.
21 Upper Kenilworth Travels from Downtown to Mountain Brow Loop.
22 Upper Ottawa Travels from Downtown to Upper Ottawa & Rymal.
23 Upper Gage Travels from Downtown to Upper Gage & Rymal via Upper Gage.
24 Upper Sherman Travels from Downtown to Upper Gage & Rymal via Upper Sherman.
25 Upper Wentworth Travels from Downtown to Lime Ridge Mall via Upper Wentworth.
26 Upper Wellington Travels from Downtown to Lime Ridge Mall via Upper Wenllington.
27 Upper James Travels from Downtown to Mountain Transit Centre.
33 Sanatorium Travels from Downtown to Scenic & Lavander Loop.
34/34A Upper Paradise Route 34 travels from Downtown to Glancaster Loop. Route 34A travels from Downtown to Upper Horning Loop.
35 College Travels from Downtown to St. Elizabeth Village Loop.
41/41A Mohawk Route 41 travels from The Meadowlands to Gage & Industrial. Route 41A travels from Chedoke Hospital to Gage & Industrial.
43 Stone Church Travels from Highland & Aubrey to The Meadowlands, with no Sunday service.
44 Rymal Travels from Eastgate Square to Ancaster Business Park during weekday peak hours.
51 University Travels from Hamilton GO Centre to West Hamilton Loop, with no Sunday or summer service.
52 Dundas Travels from King & Jones to Pierie & Governors.
52A Dundas Local Travels from York & Watson's Loop to Pleasant & Orchard during weekday peak hours.
55/55A Stoney Creek Central Route 55 travels from Eastgate Square to Hwy 8 & Jones via Queenston. Route 55A travels from Eastgate Square to Levi Loop.
56 Confederation Park Summer weekend and holiday service only. Travels from Eastgate Square to Confederation Park.
58 Stoney Creek Local Travels from Eastgate Square to Hwy 8 & Jones via King.
99 Waterfront Shuttle Seven-day summer only service from Downtown to Pier 8.

Route histories

In the early 90's the HSR eliminated many routes by expanding current routes. The following is a list of eliminated/replaced routes:

  • 1 King - this route had two previous ends of line during this time: 1B King-Reid and 1 King (to Donn Avenue in Stoney Creek). The 1B was replaced by extended service to Eastgate Square and it was changed to 1A King and the 1 King to Donn Avenue was moved to a new terminal at the Fiesta Mall. The 1A operated Monday to Saturday between Eastgate Square and downtown Hamilton and the 1 King operated Sundays only from Fiesta Mall and downtown.
  • 2 Barton - trips alternated between Melvin & Osborne (2C Barton-Talbot) and the Bell Manor Loop near Grays Road (near the Hamilton/Stoney Creek border). All trips were extended to the Bell Manor Loop.
  • 15 Sherman/Ottawa cancelled and replaced on Ottawa Street only first by the 4 Bayfront, then 53 Burlington and eventually 41 Mohawk.
  • 17 Ancaster Local eliminated due to low ridership.
  • 18 Waterdown to Aldershot GO station eliminated, not replaced (Low ridership); reinstated September 2008
  • 31 Fennell replaced by 21 Upper Kenilworth (Route moved from Concession Street to Fennell Avenue) and 41 Mohawk (Now serves Kenilworth Avenue & Ottawa Street)
  • 32 Garth replaced by 35 College (Route extended south of Mohawk College)
  • 45 Limeridge eliminated, not replaced (Limeridge Road closed as a through street)
  • 53 Burlington replaced by 41 Mohawk (Now serves Ottawa Street) and 11 Parkdale (Route extended into Burlington)
  • 57 Nash replaced by 4 Bayfront (Now serves Nash Road & Quigley Road to Mount Albion Loop)

Streetcar routes

The HSR operated horsecars from 1874 to 1892 and electric streetcars from 1892 to 1951. Trolleybuses replaced streetcars in Hamilton in 1951.

List of streetcar routes in Hamilton prior to 1951:

  • Belt Line 1913-1946 (Red Line)
    • James St 1874
    • King St 1874
    • Bartonville shuttle 1907
  • Burlington-Westdale 1941-1946 (Green Line)
    • James Street North 1874 - later as Westdale-James North
    • Burlington Street 1896 - opened by Hamilton Radial Electric Railway; later as Burlington-James South (Yellow Line)
    • King Street West & Westdale 1874 - later as Westdale-James North 1930
  • Aberdeen-King West 1874-1947 (Yellow Line)
    • York Street 1874
    • Herkimer Street between James and Queen 1883 - renamed King West-York 1892 (Green Line)
    • Aberdeen late 1870s by Hamilton & Dundas Street Railway; later acquired by HSR and mergered by West Hamilton 1923; renamed Aberdeen-Stuart
    • York & Aberdeen 1930 - replaced Aberdeen-Stuart line; sections closed 1939 and ceased operations along entire route 1947
  • Crosstown (Sanford) Shuttle 1924-1948
  • Firestone shuttle 1927-1939
  • Wentworth 1874-1913 - renamed Wentworth-Stuart and used until 1942

Trolleybus routes

A former HSR Flyer E800 trolleybus at the Halton County Radial Railway

Trolleybuses were used by the HSR from 1951 to 1992 along the following routes:

  • King-Barton
    • later as 1 King - until 1987
    • later as 2 Barton - until 1992
  • Cannon 1951-1989
    • later 3 Cannon


Introduced in 1998 as a two year pilot project, Trans-Cab is a shared-ride taxi service between HSR and specific local taxi providers, currently offered in portions of Glanbrook and Stoney Creek.

Accessible transporation

Accessible Transportation Services (ATS) is the section that administers a variety of accessible services on behalf of the City

  • Accessible low-floor (ALF) buses provide level entry and exit to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. It is anticipated that the entire HSR fleet will be accessible by 2009.
  • Disabled and Aged Regional Transportation System (DARTS) is a non profit charitable organization that is the paratransit service provider.
  • Taxi Scrip program provides discounted taxi coupons for ATS registered persons who are unable to access regular transit buses.

Rapid Transit System

HSR is considering the use of LRT in Hamilton, Ontario.

Plans to use the UTDC ICTS technology were scrapped in the 1980s. No lines were created for the HSR.



  • 1875 first horsebarn opens
  • 1887 second horsebarn opens
  • 1889 Sanford Avenue carhouse opens
  • 1927 - 1990 Wentworth Street North carbarn/garage opens (machine shops etc...)
  • 1984-1996;1998 to present Mountain Regional Transit Centre on Upper James Street
  • 1990 - 1998 Wentworth Street Transit Centre


  • King & James turntable - streetcars
  • Guise loop - street car
  • Westdale loop - streetcar
  • CNIB/Main West Loop
  • West Hamilton Loop
  • Scenic & Lavender Loop
  • Princess Point Loop
  • Glancaster Road Loop
  • Valley Park Loop
  • Titan Loop
  • Levi Loop
  • Lakeland Loop
  • Short Turn Loop - Kenilworth and Cannon - trolleybus
  • Short Turn Loop - Kenilworth and Barton - trolleybus

Terminals and connections

Hamilton Street Railway Orion V 8907 on the 34A route at the intersection of King Street and James Street in downtown Hamilton.

HSR routes from downtown to the Mountain (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34 and 35) currently use Gore Park as an on-street terminal layover, while several lower city routes (4, 6, 7, 8 and 9) have an on-street terminal layover at the intersection of Main and James streets.

HSR connects with GO Transit at Hamilton GO Centre, which serves as the terminus for four HSR routes (1, 2, 3, and 51). The station, located at 36 Hunter St E, a few blocks south of King and James, is the terminus of the GO's Lakeshore West railway line and Express Highway 407 and Queen Elizabeth Way GO Buses. It is also the main Greyhound Lines bus stop (mainly serving London, Ontario and those connections) in Hamilton. Canada Coach Lines, once owned by HSR, is now served by Coach Canada, formerly Trentway-Wagar, and operates routes between Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, and Niagara. It is also the former Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway (TH&B) passenger station, and there is a small museum above the public concourse. HSR routes 2 & 4 also connect with GO at Barton Street & Nash Road in East Hamilton, where a GO bus travels between here and the Burlington GO Station.

Via the Mountain Transit Centre transfer point (served by route 27) and a contract with Blue Line Taxi, the HSR also connects with other areas in the northwest portion of the former Glanbrook Township.

In addition, the HSR is connected with Burlington Transit, as one route (11 Parkdale) travels into Burlington via Burlington Beach, 18 Waterdown connects with BT at Aldershot GO Station, and BT Route 1 enters downtown Hamilton from Plains Road West.

Other terminals and loops:

  • West Hamilton Loop (routes 5C and 51)
  • Limeridge Transit Terminal (routes 25, 26, 41/41A and 43)
  • Eastgate Transit Terminal (routes 1, 10, 55/55A, 56 and 58)
  • McMaster University (routes 1A, 10, 5A/5C, 51 run through or terminate at the university; routes 5B/5E/52 pass nearby on Main St) - also GO Transit service to/from Burlington GO with train connections to Toronto
  • Bell Manor Loop (routes 2 and 55A)
  • Meadowlands (routes 5A/5C (peak), 16, 41 and 43, Redeemer University College Shuttle (limited service))
  • Glancaster Loop (route 34, 44, Redeemer University College Shuttle (limited service))
  • Upper Horning Loop (route 34A)


Age group Cash fare 5 tickets Monthly Pass Annual Pass
Elementary schoolchildren (Grades 1-8) $2.55 $8.25† $71.00† n/a
Students in secondary school (age 19 and under) $2.55 $8.25† $71.00† n/a
Adults $2.55 $10.00 $87.00 n/a
Seniors (age 65 and older) $2.55 $10.00 $87.00 n/a
Fares as of January 1, 2010[2] - † Valid Student I.D. may be required

The Presto card will be added to the fare system by 2010.


Two of the Hamilton Street Railway’s former trolleybuses are preserved at the Halton County Radial Railway museum.

HSR also once operated horsecar (1873-1892) and streetcar (1892-1951) lines (hence the name) as well as incline railways (Hamilton and Barton Incline Railway - Wentworth Incline 1895-1936, demolished 1949 and Hamilton Incline Railway - James Street Incline 1892-1932). Trolleybuses were also run on a routes 1 King, 2 Barton and 3 Cannon from 1951 to 1988 - the trolleys lasted on route 2 Barton until 1993. Today HSR is exclusively a transit bus operator and plans to make the entire fleet accessible by 2009.


Handicapped/disabled access Denotes wheelchair accessibility


  • Paterson & Corbin Line car 1908
    • Line car /896
  • Preston Car Company closed car
    • Preston car 1912
    • DEST closed 1912
    • 28 DEDT closed 1912
    • DEST Paye
  • G.C. Kuhlman Car Company ST closed
    • sweeper 1908
  • 18 ex-Cleveland cars 1902
  • Laconia Car Company closed car
    • 1 DT/DEcar 1907 - ex Boston
  • 16 Ottawa Car Company DT/DE closed car 1910
    • sweeper
  • McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Company sweeper 1916
  • Jones SE closed car
    • 5 Jones ST open
    • closed car
    • open car
    • DT closed
    • 10 DT open cars 1900
  • 24 National Steel Car SEDT closed 1927
  • 11 NSC DT/SE 1928
  • 11 NSC DT/SE 1929
  • Laconia Car Company DEDT
  • 15 ex-open horse cars
  • 10 ex-closed ST horsecars
  • 1 ST sand car
  • 5 ex-Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co 10 bench cars 1904
  • 10 ex-BRT Co cars 1905
  • 1 DT closed car from Boston 1906
  • 1 ex Boston car 1906
  • 1 work motor car (Koppel) 1900
  • 4 ex Boston cars 1908
  • 1 DT closed - ex Boston


  • Stevenson & Co. closed horsecar
    • 6 - June 1874
    • 4 - December 1874
  • J. G. Brill and Company closed horsecar 1876
  • Jones's Sons Company closed horsecar 1879, 1890 (5)
  • Jones's Sons Company open horsecar 1889, 1890 (6)
  • J. G. Brill and Company open horsecar 1886
  • unknown builders of open and closed horsecars 1884
  • unknown builder, 4 closed and 1 open 1887
  • unknown builder, 3 closed and 4 open 1888
  • Allen horsecar sleigh 1881 and 1884
  • Jones sleigh 1877 (3)
  • Jones sleigh 1879 (4)


From 1873 to 1889, the HSR was owned by Lyman Moore and operated as a private business. In 1889 HSR was sold to Hamilton Cataract Interests, later known as Dominion Power and Transmission Company. HSR was later acquired by Ontario Hydro.

Provincial ownership ended in 1946 when HSR was bought by Canada Coach Lines. CCL was purchased by the city of Hamilton in 1960. Hamilton-Wentworth Region began ownership of CCL and HSR in 1977.

  • Hamilton & Dundas Street Railway 1873-1923
  • Hamilton, Grimsby & Beamsville Electric Railway 1891-1931
  • Hamilton Radial Electric Railway 1893-1925
  • Brantford & Hamilton Electric Railway 1896-1931
  • Hamilton Terminal Company 1907-1930s


  1. ^ Name and relationship of HSR as shown on City website
  2. ^ Fares and Conditions

External links


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