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Thread: Charlotte's New Trolley

  1. #1

    Charlotte's New Trolley

    Sometime in the next month Charlotte's Restored Trolley system, will begin regular service between South End and 9th street downtown. This is an approximately 2.5 mile line and will eventually be served by 4 cars. Car 85 is a restored car from Charlotte's earlier system which closed in 1936, and the remaining cars are being built from scratch. This is not to be confused with the South LRT which will be coming in a few years. I was out the other day and took these photos for my website but I thought they might also be appreciated here. The Trolley and the new sidewalk that parallels the tracks is bringing life back to an area that until a few years ago was quite crime ridden. This is the type of Transit Oriented Development that I hope we see more of.

    The Park Street Station. Notice how people are already enjoying the facilities.

    DT Charlotte as seen from the Station. I like the nice sidewalk and landscaping that follows the tracks.

    Here comes the trolley! Right now it only travels from SouthEnd up Camden Road, but people are using it even in its limited mode.

    When the overhead catenary is energized, the Trolley wil no longer need to carry its own generator. (blue/green device in back)

    Station at East Blvd and the beginning of SouthEnd

    Granted, Charlotte has bulldozed down much of its past, but at least along this line the new condos being built feature street level retail and easy access to the Trolley.

    Live Work Condos

    Everyone enjoys using the new sidewalks. For the local people, the guy in the blue is Bobby Sisk from Channel 36 (masquerades as NBC 6 )

    Don't know who these people are

    The Kingston Condo

    The Park Ave Condos

    Many new businesses are opening. Here is an example of one.

    Phat Burrito and the Prices Chicken Coop are located on the line. Both are very popular these days.

    Nice Logo

    Growing Charlotte

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Besides the addition of the LRT, do they plan on extending the Trolley system?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Big Easy King's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Overlooking the Quarter
    Charlotte's new trolley looks very similar to the traditional New Orleans streetcar. New Orleans has been celebrating the return of the Canal Street line and the new streetcar line along Carrollton Avenue. :-} Check it out:


  4. #4
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    does the trolley run 7 days a week?
    What are the headways like?
    Where is it's route uptown?
    I'm familiar with it south of 277 but what about north of there?

    Is the lightrail line going to share the trolley tracks?

  5. #5
    Initially the trolley will operate 7 days a week on the following schedule

    * Mon-Thur 11am to 7:30pm
    * Sat 10am - 11pm
    * Sun 10am - 6pm

    When all 4 cars are operational later this year, the times will be expanded to cover more of the day. A ride will cost $1.00.

    The LRT will share the same tracks but will have different stations and will extend more than 10 miles. When the LRT is built, the tracks will be updated to dedicated dual tracks on their own right of way. I am not quite sure how they will manage having the two types of vehicles on the same tracks.

    There are no plans to extend this system beyond the current 2.5 miles. There is a long range plan to add a couple of modern streetcar lines but they will not be part of this trolley line. It should be noted that Charlotte built this line almost all with local funds.

    In regards to the route, there is a new bridge across I277 which was built specifically for the trolley and includes the pedestrian walkway. It basically parallels College street to 9th street. Here are a couple of photos of the Northern end of the track,

    This is at the new Childrens Museum

    Reeds Grocery

    9th Street Terminus
    Last edited by metroboi; 26 May 2004 at 5:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Dec 1998
    Thanks for the cool pics. How long did it take to get the trolley system up and running again?
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  7. #7
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Boulder, CO
    Sigh.... I don't know what it is about them, but I love streetcars. Maybe the plan is pure folly, but I truly hope a streetcar is built on Peachtree St here in Atlanta. Additional streetcar lines along major arteries (parralleling past streetcar routes) would be excellent as well.

    I've ridden streetcars in Seattle, Portland, New Orleans & San Francisco & can't describe how euphoric the feeling is. Maybe it's nostalgia, but I can't stop wondering how on earth streetcars can't make a massive comeback.

    Screw the SUV's, just because they're not able to share the road with anyone else doesn't mean streetcars shouldn't return to the asphalt.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Thanks for the cool pics. How long did it take to get the trolley system up and running again?
    There was a grass roots effort to revive it starting in '89. The trolley car displayed above had actually been turned into a house and someone was living in it. LOL Almost all of the restoration of the line was done with donations, volunteer efforts, and local money. Now that it is almost online, operation has been turned over to CATS and it is funded by the local 1/2cent mass transit sales tax.

  9. #9

    Charlotte's Trolley begins Full Service

    Charlotte's trolley is fully operational now. Here are some photos from opening day +1.

    Here is the 9th street station as approached from my friend's uptown condo.


    And train itself. It moves surprisingly fast.

    Here it is stopped at 6th street.

    And passing by. Note that it is standing room only.

    Off to 9th Street. It is great to see that ugly generator gone now.
    Last edited by metroboi; 30 Jun 2004 at 12:46 PM. Reason: change title

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