Electric Streetcars

A Streetcar in Downtown Lexington

In 1890, those seeking to take advantage of the technological advances achieved during the previous decade acquired the old mule-drawn railway company. The group of investors included, among others, William Loughridge. The same men also formed another company that would be critical to the neighborhood’s development and future: the Belt Line Company. 

Pullman cars, purchased for $1,350 apiece, were ordered by the new company and they arrived during the summer of 1890. The cars’ arrival in Lexington was front page news: “The new electric street cars, shrouded with canvas, are today being unloaded from trucks on which they made their journey to Lexington, at the plant on North Limestone.” On September 1, 1890, these streetcars began traveling a loop from Main Street to Loudon Avenue utilizing both North Broadway and North Limestone. To enable the operation of these electric streetcars, electricity was needed, so a three-story powerhouse was erected to the west of North Limestone Street on Loudon Street’s south side. 

The division of the streetcar company designated to electric power for the streetcars would eventually be divested into a new entity, the Lexington Utilities Company (later known as Kentucky Utilities).