American Car Company car 511 at the Spanish Fort Station, 1911.
The New Orleans City RR Co. ran steam service from Canal and Basin Streets downtown out to Spanish Fort as early as the 1880s. The 1880 Robinson Atlas shows tracks running out of the New Orleans Terminal Company station at Canal and Basin, up Bienville Street to what is now Robert E. Lee Blvd in Lakeview, then over to Spanish Fort.
With the closing of the Carondelet Canal and filling in of its turning basin, the Southern Railroad took over the railroad terminal at Canal and Basin. The train service up Bienville Street was discontinued and service to Spanish Fort was operated as an extension of the West End streetcar line. From the 1880s until the 1920s, Spanish Fort was a popular day-trip and resort destination for New Orleanians looking to beat the summer heat. A number of restaurants, night clubs, and casinos opened up in the area, and it was one of the cradles of Jazz.
For more on Spanish Fort, check out my article for GoNOLA.com on the amusement area's history.
Thanks to H. George Friedman for this E.F. Keplinger photo.