Washington, Spa Spring & Gretta Railroad

The Washington Spa Spring & Gretta Railroad (WSSGRR) was a streetcar that served Berwyn Heights, 1912 – 1921. Incorporated in Maryland in 1905, WSSGRR started running from 15th and H Street, NE to Bladensburg in 1910. An extension to Riverdale and Berwyn Heights opened in 1912, using novel Edison-Beach storage battery cars.

Congressman Samuel S. Yoder invested and lost a fortune building the streetcar line, which was to spur development in Berwyn Heights, where Yoder had started buying land in late 1905. The battery-powered cars had trouble climbing “The Heights” to the terminus at 58th Avenue and Berwyn Road. WSSGRR patrons filed complaints and lawsuits because the streetcar routinely failed to carry them to their destinations past Bladensburg.

WSSGRR had difficulty becoming economically viable, as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Washington Railway & Electric Company (WRECO) served the same territory. Renamed Washington Interurban Railway in October 1912, the company foreclosed in 1915, and was purchased by WRECO in 1916. The service remained substandard and buses replaced the trolleys on the extension in 1921, and on the main trunk in 1923.

For more information please see the Washington, Spa Spring & Gretta Railroad pamphlet

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2 responses

  1. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Great work!

    1. Thanks for the compliment. Credit goes to WordPress for offering the template I used.

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