Delmar Loop Trolley

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Delmar Loop Trolley
Streetcar 1352 (ex-Milan 1811) on display in St. Louis in 2011.jpg
One of two ex-Milan Peter Witt streetcars on display in St. Louis and planned to be used for Loop Trolley service, along with ex-Portland Vintage Trolley cars
Type Streetcar
Status Planning
Locale St. Louis
Stations 10 (projected)
Opening 2016 (projected)
Owner City of St. Louis
Operator(s) Bi-State Development Agency
Line length 2.2 miles
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route map
History Museum
Forest Park
Crossroads School
Laurel & Delmar
The Pageant

The Delmar Loop Trolley is a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) planned heritage trolley line that will serve the Delmar Loop district in St. Louis, Missouri and University City, Missouri. The line will have about 10 stations and serve the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, Washington University in St. Louis, two MetroLink stations; Forest Park-DeBaliviere station and Delmar Loop station, University City City Hall, and all the Delmar Loop attractions. The system will use seven replica-historic streetcars instead of earlier plans to use two Peter Witt-type streetcars, because of the state law that requires transit vehicles to aid people with walking disabilities and other reasons, including to permit stops to be positioned on either side of the track (the streetcars will be able to load from either side).[1] A grant of $25 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding for the project was approved in July 2010, as part of the FTA's Urban Circulator Grant Program.[2][3] Opening is targeted for mid-2016.[4]


St. Louis ran Peter Witt-type streetcars from 1927 to 1951. Later, PCC streetcars manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company plied the streets until ultimately being shut down in the Great American streetcar scandal. The Delmar Loop originally got its name from the streetcar turnaround which occupied two oblong blocks on the north side of Delmar east from Kingsland Avenue. The loop was used by the Olive-Delmar line. The Creve Coeur line coming south up Kingsland also terminated at the Loop, with the cars backing into it from Kingsland. The loop originally was located adjacent to the Delmar Gardens amusement park, a vestige of which are Eastgate and Westgate avenues, located at the east and west gates of the park. Another streetcar line, the Kirkwood-Ferguson line, traveled north and south a few blocks east of the Loop. And a private line to what is now University City Hall extended west down Delmar.

When the streetcars were replaced with buses the Loop retained its name. Years later, the idea of bringing back streetcars found a champion in Joe Edwards, the owner of Blueberry Hill, The Pageant, and a number of other Loop businesses. Edwards secured the purchase of two restored Peter Witt streetcars that once operated in Milan, Italy, and has led the initiative for a new line in conjunction with Citizens for Modern Transit.[citation needed]

The two Peter Witt cars were refurbished by the Gomaco Trolley Company in 2005 and placed on long-term display along the route—one on Delmar by Commerce Bank, and the other at the History Museum. The Loop Trolley line is planned to be served initially by a fleet of three streetcars: two Gomaco-built Brill-replica streetcars which until 2014 were used on the Portland Vintage Trolley service (in Portland, Oregon)[5] and one of the two Peter Witt streetcars. The three cars are scheduled to be modified for wheelchair accessibility, to meet ADA regulations.

Proposed route[edit]

The route will loop around the Missouri History Museum. It will then run north on DeBaliviere Avenue in St. Louis. It will then turn west on Delmar Boulevard to the Delmar Station and cross the St. Louis City/County Boundary to University City to serve the Delmar Loop. A possible site for the west end terminus is a roundabout (traffic circle) at Trinity Avenue and Kingsland Street.

Proposed stations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Loop Trolley News
  2. ^ "U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $293 Million for New Transit Solutions, Economic Development Nationwide". Federal Transit Administration. July 8, 2010. Archived from the original on August 3, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  3. ^ "Urban Circulator/Bus and Bus Livability Project Descriptions". Federal Transit Administration. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  4. ^ "St. Louis — Heritage Cars from Portland". APTA Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Site (Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum). January 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  5. ^ Bowen, Douglas John (December 13, 2013). "TriMet sells heritage trolleys to St. Louis". Railway Age. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]