Trolley Line Trail

The Trolley Line Trail in Gilliam Park.

This urban route follows a streetcar line built in the early 1890s by the Metropolitan Street Railroad Company and its successor Atlanta Consolidated Street Railway Company. Early cars on the line were pulled by “dummies,” small steam engines that were partially enclosed in a streetcar-styled body. Within a few years, though, the steam power was replaced with electricity, much to the relief of nearby homeowners annoyed by the smoke and soot.

Streetcars traveled this route between Atlanta and Decatur.

The route, which became known as the South Decatur line, followed today’s Oakview Road, Woodbine Avenue, a short stretch of Hosea L. Williams Drive, and Arkwright Place. Note that these residential streets are wider than is typical, a result of once sharing the corridor with the streetcar line. They also follow a route with several long, gentle curves, while most of the other streets in the adjoining neighborhoods are straight, with few if any curves.

One of the long curves on Oakview Road.

West of Arkwright Place, the route followed today's Flat Shoals Avenue, Sasseen Street, Fulton Terrace, Estoria Street, and Memorial Drive.

Most of the bike trail is on or alongside the streets, but at Gilliam Park it veers off, still following the old rail bed. To the east of the park, the trail and the streetcar route are interrupted by Toomer Elementary School.


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