Issaquah Valley Trolley

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The ex-Milan interurban sitting next to the carbarn

The Issaquah Valley Trolley (IVT) is a heritage streetcar line in Issaquah, Washington, United States. It is a project of the Issaquah History Museums (formerly known as the Issaquah Historical Society). The IVT operates from the Issaquah Depot Museum building located at 78 First Ave, NE. In 2001–02, a trolley car borrowed from Yakima Valley Trolleys[1] was operated along existing, former-freight railroad track to prove the concept that an operating trolley in Issaquah would attract ridership.

After returning the borrowed trolley to Yakima in May 2002,[2] Issaquah acquired three trolleys of its own: an ex-Milan interurban car (No. 96), and two narrow gauge ex-Lisbon trolleys (Nos. 519 and 521,[3] built in Lisbon in 1925)[4] from a failed plan for a trolley line in Aspen, Colorado.[1] None was able to operate, as they all needed restoration work before being usable for service, and the ex-Lisbon trolleys also required "re-gauging" from 900 mm (2 ft 11 in) gauge to standard gauge to enable them to run on the existing railroad track in Issaquah. The trolleys will tow or push a generator car to supply them with electricity, rather than receiving power from overhead wires. The IVT group also hopes to rebuild about a mile of recently removed track on the Lake Sammamish rail-trail, as far as the boat-launch.

In March 2012, one of the ex-Lisbon cars, No. 519, was sent to the Gomaco Trolley Company, in Iowa, for restoration and re-gauging of its truck.[3] The car returned from Gomaco in August, its restoration completed,[5] and made a test run over the line.[3] with additional crew training then following. Public service began on October 14, 2012, with initial hours of operation scheduled for weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until sometime in November.[6] The section of railroad line currently used for rides is about one-half mile (approx. 800 m) long.[6]

The other Lisbon car, No. 521, has not yet been restored and is not operable, but the group hopes to restore it later.[2] IVT no longer plans to use the 1930-built ex-Milan car No. 96 and is offering it for sale.[3]

The museum also has an operational 0-4-0 Plymouth gasoline-mechanical locomotive.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Grindeland, Sherry (November 23, 2002). "Aspen's trolley loss is Issaquah's gain". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Issaquah Valley Trolley". Issaquah Historical Society. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Kagarise, Warren (August 28, 2012). "Trolley returns, and supporters prepare for rides to start in October". Issaquah Press. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Young, Andrew D. (1997). Veteran & Vintage Transit. St. Louis, MO (US): Archway Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-9647279-2-7. 
  5. ^ "It's Here! Issaquah Trolley Arrives". Sammamish-Issaquah Patch. August 23, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Issaquah Press Staff (October 16, 2012). "All aboard, Issaquah, as downtown trolley starts service". Issaquah Press. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 

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Coordinates: 47°31′52″N 122°02′08″W / 47.53111°N 122.03556°W / 47.53111; -122.03556