The streetcar tracks long buried under Eagle Street have returned, if only for a cameo appearance. Tracks and cobblestones are visible along Eagle Street between Ellicott and Washington streets as the stretch is being milled and repaved. Streetcars ran on Eagle Street from Main to Emslie Street until 1948. Eagle is one of several radial streets laid out by Joseph Ellicott in 1804 that have been fractured over several decades, in this case by urban renewal and the construction of the NFTA bus station.
Buffalo’s streetcar history dates back to 1834. According to Buffalonet:
The first street-railway, in reality if not in name, was the Buffalo to Black Rock road, which was in operation in 1834. Its horse-drawn cars were the pride of the populace and the wonder of the emigrants who came to Buffalo in canal-packets on the Erie Canal and were en route to the West.
Within the city limits in 1920, Buffalo had 223 miles of street railways and the street cars carried 191,200,048 passengers in 1919. Buffalo communicates with twenty suburban villages, all of which have materially owed their development to the street railway systems of Buffalo.
The tracks along Eagle Street were from the Clinton Street route. The line started at Main and Clinton, and ran along Main, Eagle, Emslie and Clinton to the city line. Return trips ran along Clinton, Emslie, Eagle, Michigan, North Division and Main to Clinton Street. At peak times, cars ran every 7.5 minutes.
Route 2 – Clinton and Route 6 – Sycamore ended service on February 20, 1948.