The trolley track extension will take the line down to a stop at the Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center.
Currently the trolley’s line starts near the Roberts Pavilion, ending near the Barrett’s Tunnel entrance. The trolley stops, and trolley drivers take a few minutes to make adjustments with the wires and such before heading back in the direction where they started.
Trolley rides give those who once rode the streetcar rails a memory jog while younger visitors have a chance to experience the dominant form of mass transit of the first half of the 20th century. Volunteers operate he trolley and give riders fun facts and stories about streetcars.
John Crowley, a Museum volunteer since 2008 in his seventh year as a trolley operator, likes to emphasize to guests how important streetcars were. “A lot of people look at the streetcars as just another means of transportation without giving much thought as to just how important they were. Before the automobile, and even after the automobile started to appear, the streetcar was the only transportation a lot of people had,” Crowley said.
The St. Louis Waterworks Railway #10 is one of the restored streetcars that runs. The popular St. Louis Public Service Co. #1743 is parked by the Lindburg building now as it awaits a repair part, Crowley said.
Trolley crews look forward to the completion of the extension. “One thing people like about the plan is that they won’t have to walk up the hill anymore,” Crowley said. “Just go to the auto building, up to the mezzanine, out the back door, and we’ll come down to pick you up.”
Hear more here about #44, #10, #2740, and #1743.