T: Trolley

The official name is Birney Streetcar 21, but everyone in town calls it the trolley. Streetcar tracks were built in Fort Collins in 1907 by the Denver and Interurban Railway. The original route ran east and west on Mountain Avenue, to transport riders to what was then the county fairgrounds. By 1918, the system was losing so much money due to the increasing popularity of those new-fangled automobiles that the streetcar line was closed down. But the people of Fort Collins missed it so much that they bought the operation and ran it until 1951.

After that, Birney Car 21 sat outside the museum until 1977, when a group of volunteers began to restore it. The repairs to the streetcar and the track from City Park to the Avery House were completed by 1986, and the trolley has been giving rides almost every year since. Volunteers from the Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society serve as motormen and conductors. 

In spring and summer, the trolley carries passengers along the original track for a small charge. Most families can ride round-trip for less than ten dollars. It has long been a favorite activity for us. This (underexposed; sorry) picture of my younger son and me riding the trolley was taken almost ten years ago, although (say it with me) it seems like yesterday:


orneryswife said…
I have never ridden on a trolley. A few years ago the Tulsa Transit renovated a few buses to look like trolley cars. Time does go by quickly!
Love the trolley. T also reminds me of the train that runs right through town. I lived in a house that backed the tracks for about a year...
Susan Kane said…
Riding a trolley is a connection to history. I love it; we have some trolleys in San Diego.
TMWHickman said…
Downtown San Antonio has trolleys, but I doubt that they are the originals. I think that the ones in New Orleans were, at least until Katrina.

This is a fun theme!
Ann Hinds said…
I love trolleys and used to ride them in Los Angeles when I was small.


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