Loop Trolleys Will Soon Be Road Ready

Loop Trolleys, University City, MO
Loop Trolleys, University City, MO

University City’s first refurbished trolley car is unveiled as rollout plans are announced

March 2, 2017 (STL.News) Loop Trolleys – Drivers and pedestrians in University City will soon share the road with trolley cars as the long-awaited Loop Trolley project finally nears completion.

The first refurbished trolley car—number 001—was unveiled today to a group of supporters, reporters and legislators at the new Loop Trolley Headquarters, 5875 Delmar, St. Louis.

Loop Trolley, University City, MO
Loop Trolley, University City, MO

Loop Trolley Transportation Development District Chairman Joe Edwards praised the quality of the workmanship of the refurbishment. A major focus this spring will be to test the safety of the cars along the newly constructed tracks.

“The major construction is over,” said Edwards. “The electric lines are being tested right now. The first car will be tested in about two weeks.” Edwards said the car will be pulled by a truck in initial tests to check for clearances.

For several years, Edwards has been the driving force behind the trolley project. Now day-to-day administration is being turned over to a newly formed nonprofit corporation, The Loop Trolley Company, headed by chairman Les Sterman.

The company stressed the need for diligence for drivers and pedestrians in the Loop as the first cars begin running this summer. “Even during the testing phase, trolleys will share the road,” said Kevin Barbeau, executive director of the Loop Trolley Company. “This is a fixed rail vehicle so it cannot swerve to avoid an illegally parked car. As for safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, we ask that you use the appropriate crosswalks and intersections.”

A point of pride for Edwards and others involved in the project is the attention to detail in restoration of the cars. The first car is red. Car number two, slated to arrive in a few weeks, is green, a distinction that Edwards believes will be fun for riders to note.

Among the speakers at the event were University City mayor Shelley Welsch; Alderwoman and mayoral candidate Lyda Krewson; Alderman Fred Williamson; and officials from the Loop Trolley Company.

The 2.2 mile electrically powered heritage trolley will run from the University City Library through the Delmar Loop to DeBaliviere Avenue, then to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.

If plans stay on track, the trolleys will be in operation by this summer.

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Caption for video: Developer Joe Edwards and Les Sterman of the Loop Trolley Company say the trolley will be a fun experience for people of all ages and is already promoting new development in the Loop.

Kathy Bratkowski
About Kathy Bratkowski113 Articles
Kathy Bratkowski is an award-winning writer and multimedia producer. Her television work has been recognized with eleven regional Emmy® awards and multiple Telly awards. Her documentaries and programs have screened at film festivals (St. Louis International Film Festival and New York Television Festival). She writes and produces videos and web content for dozens of national corporations. In a previous life, she was a television news producer and worked in the corporate world. She is a published feature and short story writer and has an M.A. in Marketing and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She teaches Multimedia Storytelling (aka Convergence Media Production) at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.