In December 2008, Savannah joined the list of cities with an operating heritage trolley line. Their initial car is a restored Melbourne, Australia W-5 with a new propulsion system. The car is operating now fueled by biodiesel being burned in an on board engine. It is also set to operate from conventional overhead trolley wire on future extensions to the line.
The line is the result of a feasibility study completed in 2003 to evaluate building a heritage trolley
system that would use existing railroad track in cobblestone pavement
along the historic city's waterfront.
The body of at least one former Savannah
Birney car is on hand for possible restoration. The study eventually led to the decision to proceed with a system using self-propelled cars. A former Melbourne streetcar is the first to have been so equipped. A PCC car is the next candidate for a similar conversion.
Follow this link for an overview of the Savannah streetcar project prepared by Gary Landrio of TransSystems in mid-2008:
The following news notes from
Rail Transit Online pertain to the Savannah heritage trolley
planning and implementation: