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Heritage Trolley Site
Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum
Memphis, TN

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Memphis, Tennessee

The Memphis heritage trolley system reached a major milestone in April 2018 when it resumed service after a nearly four year suspension to enable rebuilding of the system and equipment after several fires on board cars. These photos show the very thoroughly rebuilt cars used to reopen service on the Main Street line. The other routes are still undergoing renovation and will be brought into service as they are completed.

Ex-Melbourne 234 (above) and 540 (below) on Main Street on re-opening day April 30, 2018.

Ex-Melbourne 539 (above) is joined by Gomaco replica 453 (below) also on Main Street on April 30.

Another completely rebuilt ex-Melbourne car, No. 455 (below) joined the active fleet on February 8, 2019.

Memphis, Early Days

Follow this link for an Overview of the Memphis heritage trolley system in its early days. 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 during a Streetcar Subcommittee 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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