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Heritage Trolley Site
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Memphis, TN
   

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Memphis, Tennessee

Follow this link for an Overview of the Memphis heritage trolley system. The system has grown several times since opening. The most recent extension began service in March, 2004. In mid-2014 the system was shut down indefinitely after a series of fires on board streetcars while in service.

The photos below were taken by Jim Schantz during the Task Force meeting in Memphis in December 2004. Click on them to enlarge:

The new Madison line features street running with island platforms and is designed for eventual use by light rail trains.

The Madison line currently terminates in mid street. Trolley poles were replaced by pantographs to keep crew members out of traffic when changing ends

A former Porto car with its pantograph current collector at the southern junction of the Main Street and Riverfront lines.

This unusual rebuild has converted a Rio de Janeiro open car to a fully enclosed car.

A new Gomaco car, patterned on the Tampa cars but without air conditioning, has joined the Memphis fleet.

The Riverfront loop crosses an active Amtrak route (two trains per day) then shares the right of way along the Mississippi.

Perhaps the most expensive new residences in downtown Memphis have appeared on the Mississippi bluff along the Riverfront line's tracks.

A bit further along the Riverfront route old industrial buildings have been converted to loft housing with direct streetcar service.

 

Click on these 1996 photos of the initial Main Street line to enlarge them to full size:

The Memphis streetcars have helped revive the Main Street Mall, and track was built to accommodate future use by light rail.

The streetcars from Oporto, Portugal, have the classic lines of 1900-era cars built by J.G. Brill of Philadelphia.

The interrior of the ex-Porto cars demonstrate Brill's "Pencilsharpener" configuration and feature varnished woodwork.

At some points tracks have been spread to allow left turn lanes and curb-side accessibility for handicapped riders.

 

The following references two New Electric Railway Journal articles (reproduced in this site's Articles section) covering Memphis:

The following news notes provide an overview of subsequent developments for the Memphis heritage trolley system:

For more on the Memphis system click on:

 

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