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Heritage Trolley Site
Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum
Portland, OR

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Portland, Oregon

Portland has two significant streetcar operations that are of interest to the heritage trolley field. One consists of replica heritage cars running on the central part of the MAX light rail system. The second uses new Czech-built articulated streetcars operating on a new downtown circulator system, joined by a replica heritage car on weekends. This is the pioneering new streetcar line, which dozens of cities would now like to emulate. It is carrying more passengers than anticipated and has contributed to economic development in the neighborhoods it serves. Portland is working on several plans to expand the streetcar system as well. The following provides information about each of these operations:

The following article from the Portland Tribune describes the lines benefits and plans for expansion as of April 30, 2004:

Portland Heritage Trolleys

Follow this link for an Overview of Portland's operation of heritage trolleys on the light rail system. Note that in recent years operation of the heritage trolleys has been limited to about eight Sundays a year, as heavy service on the growing light rail network has resulted in delays if the slower heritage cars are running. In December 2013, TriMet's board voted to send two of the heritage cars to St. Louis for regular operation there.

Click on the thumbnail images below to see larger versions of these photos of Portland's heritage cars:

Portland replica car 513 pauses on the short siding off of the Banfield light rail line that serves as its outer terminus.

Though the Gomaco-built replicas have control equipment from 1940s-era PCC cars, they have been hidden behind period enclosures.

Car 512 rolls through an older section of downtown along track attractively paved with Belgian blocks.

The interior of the Gomaco cars very effectively captures the ambience of the Brill "pencil sharpener" interior.


Follow this link for an article from the New Electric Railway Journal, Spring 1992 describing Portland's heritage trolley system.:

Portland Downtown Streetcar Circulator

Follow this link for a Project Description of Portland's new downtown streetcar route.

Click on the thumbnail images below to see larger versions of these photos of Portland's downtown streetcar circulator system:

Map showing the Portland Streetcar route­­ - an inverted "L" running on one-way streets along the edges of the light blue area on this map.

An innovative feature is use of 5 inch (127 mm) high Austrian rail, enabling a trench of only 12 inches (300 mm).

The rails, without traditional tries, were then enclosed in a slab of concrete to ensure stability.

The finished concrete gives a pleasing appearance. Slightly raised platforms extend from the curb to the rails.

The new Skoda (Czech) streetcars are equally at home in both residential and business neighborhoods.

Economic development inspired by the streetcar: A Skoda car passes an industrial building under conversion to loft apartments.

Newly completed residential buildings on either side of the streetcar line in a former rail yard.

The streetcar line intersects Portland's Max light rail line at four downtown intersections, providing easy transfer for passengers.

A heritage car provides scheduled weekend service, demonstrating here how the line effectively shares a narrow, bidirectional street with autos.

A heritage car on the streetcar line passes the downtown layover point for Portland's new light rail line to the airport.


Follow Portland Streetcars Live

Portland's modern streetcars and heritage streetcars are equipped with the innovative Nextbus system which, despite its name, provides online tracking of the location of the Next Streetcar to arrive at a selected stop or a map showing all streetcars operating on the Portland Downtown Circulator. The below links lead to the live map and to the next arrival request page:

News notes

The following news notes provide an overview of subsequent developments for the Portland system:

Click on the link below for the Portland Streetcar website:

For more on the Portland systems click on:



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