What would become the Irvington Line began as the Holladay Addition Line in 1890. However, its operator, the Willamette Bridge Railway, was acquired the following year by the then most extensive street car company west of the Mississippi, the City & Suburban.
The precursors to the Portland Railway's Jefferson Line also launched in 1890 through segments of the Portland Heights line, and 1892's City Park line. In 1904 Portland Railway and the City & Suburban merged to form the PRL&P Company, and in 1914 that operator linked the eastside Irvington line with the westside Jefferson.
The consolidated line ran from a western terminus at 18th and Jefferson, down Jeff to Fifth, then north to the Steel Bridge. From there it jogged up Holladay and Multnomah until heading north on E. 15th to its eastern terminus at Prescott.
In 1933 Jefferson street service was dropped, and service continued on the remainder of the line under the moniker of Irvington Line.
The gasoline autobuses came in 1938.