ELECTRIFICATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF THE LINES (1889 - 1901)
|Atlanta businessman Joel Hurt (1850-1926) was the first to establish electrified streetcar service in Georgia with the opening of the Atlanta & Edgewood Street Railroad line in 1889 from Five Points to his Inman Park planned residential development situated just east of the city. Viewed as a cleaner, more reliable alternative to animal motive power, electric streetcars were heralded as the future of the transit industry and new lines quickly proliferated throughout the city.
||In 1891, Hurt merged many of Atlanta’s financially unstable companies and older, mule-drawn systems under his Atlanta Consolidated Street Railway Company. By 1894, Atlanta Consolidated operated 54 miles of track, of which 44 miles was electrified. Further consolidation of the city’s streetcar system occurred in 1901 when Henry M. Atkinson (1862-1839) president of Georgia Electric Light and its subsidiary, the Atlanta Traction Company, acquired Hurt’s transit interests after a two-year, hostile takeover, which was coined by the newspapers as “The Second Battle of Atlanta.”