No. 5 Ensley-Fairfield streetcar line

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The No. 5 Ensley-Fairfield streetcar line (formerly the South Ensley line) was a streetcar line operated by the Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Company beginning on December 21, 1902. The route originally connected Birmingham to Ensley and was extended to Corey (Fairfield) in 1910. Service continued until April 11, 1948, after which the route was served by "trackless trolleys" operated by the Birmingham Transit Company. The line is currently served by Metro Area Express buses as MAX Transit Route 5.

Route

The Fairfield route from downtown Birmingham proceeded west along 3rd Avenue North, which changes to 3rd Avenue West at Center Street. It proceeded to Fairview Junction at the Alabama State Fairgrounds. It then turned up Ensley Avenue on former Ensley Railroad trackage below street grade through Chert's Ridge to Tuxedo Junction, where it joined the No. 7 Wylam-Bush Hills line.

From there it followed 19th Street Ensley to Avenue C, then down 36th Street Ensley (where it diverged from the No. 7 line) and southwest to Fairfield on Gary Avenue as far as Commerce Avenue.

On the return route the streetcar took 20th Street Ensley back toward Tuxedo Junction.

On game days the No. 5 route looped down 13th Street West to Rickwood Field and back up 12th Street West to 3rd Avenue.

In the 1940s a few changes were made to the route. In Birmingham the return car continued through downtown as far as 23rd Street before turning down to 1st Avenue North and looping back to the west, returning to 3rd Avenue by way of 17th Street. In Fairfield the route was extended to share a loop with the No. 28 Fairfield shuttle which reached closer to the Fairfield Works.

References

  • Hudson, Alvin W. & Harold E. Cox (1976) Street Railways of Birmingham. Forty Fort, Pennsylvania: Harold E. Cox
  • Prince, A. G. (1982) Landmarks of Ensley: Past and Present. revised edition. Ensley: Best Printing Service