Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill, has long been a supporter of revitalizing the Delmar Loop area. He suggested a street car system way back in 1997 as a way to attract tourists to the shops and restaurants of the University City’s Delmar Loop. He said the trolley could connect 12 million visitors from Forest Park to the Delmar Loop and Metro Link.
Winning the federal grant is the first step to bringing a trolley line to the Loop, though the project will still need another $19 million dollars to be raised locally. It will also take an estimated $4 million dollars a year to run. But now that money is coming in for the project, the Loop Trolley could hit the tracks as early as next summer.
The trolley line will be a 2.2 mile stretch of track that will connect the History Museum at the edge of Forest Park with University City. The track will cross over Lindell, run along DeBaliviere then turn left on Delmar to terminate at the U City Lion’s Gate. Project designers haven’t determined if the trolley will run down the center of the street or along one side yet, but it will need overhead electric lines to run. The trolley will run on battery power while in Forest Park, so lines won’t be needed in the park.
Tom Shrout, of Citizens for Modern Transit, hopes The Loop Trolley will just be the beginning of street cars in St. Louis. He’s hoping this first trolley line will be the core for a system that runs to other Forest Park attractions and the Central West End.
You can read more about The Loop Trolley at it’s official web page LoopTrolley.org. If you can’t wait to ride a trolley, the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis County runs three historic trolleys on weekends around the museum grounds.
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