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.
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) and one of the two Peter Witt streetcars. The three cars are scheduled to be modified for wheelchair accessibility, to meet ADA regulations.
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.