All Aboard

Plans and funding are now officially in place for the Loop’s trolley project

 

San Francisco’s is famous, and New Orleans has one named “Desire.” Now, St. Louis is officially on track to get its own iconic trolley, thanks to a $25 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The Loop Trolley will be a 2.2-mile fixed-track trolley line running from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park to the University City Library. The project, spearheaded by Joe Edwards, Chairman of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, is expected to be ready by mid-2014. Edwards says the trolley will enhance to the area’s quality of life,increase tourism and lead to further development. “It’s back to the future,” Edwards says. “Trolleys are leading to revitalization across the country.”

The system will include three to five vintage trolley cars, most likely from the ’20s or ’40s. Vintage cars are more economical than the newfangled hybrids, which cost two to three times as much. The cars can move in both directions and have headlights on each end, so there’s no turning around, loops or turntables necessary. During peak times, the trolleys could operate with as little as 10 minutes between stops. Establishing a trolley in an area that is already a nationally recognized entertainment, dining and cultural destination is expected to bring even more attractions, helping keep young professionals engaged in the community. Edwards hopes that the Loop Trolley will serve as a prototype for bringing other developing neighborhoods together, and that the system will expand just like the Metrolink did, “one leg at a time.”

 

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The Loop Trolley Project

 

Photo credit: Matt Strom

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