Silver Line (San Diego Trolley)

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San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Car529PCCRightSDMar2014.JPG
Car 529 at Convention Center station (March 2014).
Overview
Other name(s)SDG&E Silver Line
TypeLight rail, Heritage streetcar
SystemSan Diego Trolley
StatusCurrently running limited midday service on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Weekends, and select Holidays only.[2]
LocaleSan Diego, California
Termini12th & Imperial Transit Center
Stations9
Ridership32,944 (FY 2015)[1]
WebsiteSan Diego Vintage Trolley
Operation
OpenedAugust 27, 2011; 7 years ago (2011-08-27)[3]
OwnerMetropolitan Transit System
Operator(s)San Diego Trolley, Inc.
CharacterUnidirectional clockwise at-grade loop around Downtown San Diego
Rolling stock2 PCC streetcars[4][5]
(5 additional cars pending longer-term restoration)[4]
Technical
Line length2.7 mi (4.3 km)[2]
Number of tracksTravels on only 1 track of 2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification600 V DC Overhead lines
Operating speed45 mph (72 km/h) (max)[6]
Route map

proposed extension
to Balboa Park
Zoo Place
Prado
Naval Medical Center
Presidents Way
I-5
San Diego High School
Park Boulevard
Fifth Avenue
City College Handicapped/disabled access
Civic Center
Park & Market Handicapped/disabled access
America Plaza
12th & Imperial
Transit Center
Handicapped/disabled access
Seaport Village
Storage and
Maintenance Yard
Convention
Center
Gaslamp Quarter Handicapped/disabled access

The Silver Line (officially the SDG&E Silver Line) is a 2.7-mile (4.3 km)[2] heritage streetcar light rail line operated by the San Diego Trolley, an operating division of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. It currently operates the "downtown loop"; a circle of tracks around Downtown San Diego, and is operated using renovated PCC streetcars. Service for the line currently only operates every 30 minutes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends and select holidays during midday hours.[7] It is officially named after San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), which has provided grants to help restore at least one of the streetcars, as well as sponsoring a free educational program for third graders on the vintage line.[5]

The line is one of four lines in the Trolley system, the others include the Blue, Orange, and Green lines.

History[edit]

The Silver Line is the fourth line in the San Diego Trolley system as well as the first circular route with service beginning in 2011. Planning for the Silver Line dates back to the early 1990s, upon the completion of the Downtown Loop, consideration was given to providing a downtown trolley service that circles around the loop. MTS (then MTDB) originally considered using three Vienna Class N1 cars formerly used on the Wiener Stadtbahn in Vienna, Austria, but their age and limited power proved incompatible with the present trolley system, and renovations to make them so were considered unfeasible.[8]

Eventually in 2005, MTS would settle on using PCC streetcars; which were formerly used by the San Diego Electric Railway, San Diego's former transit service, in the 1930s and 40s. Between 2005 and 2010, MTS acquired six PCC streetcars formerly used in San Francisco and Philadelphia, and would partner with the San Diego historic streetcar society,[9] a non-profit organization developed to educate the public of the history of the San Diego Electric Railway, to help restore these streetcars for use on the eventual line.[4]

In early 2011 the first of these streetcars, Car 529, was completed and inauguration of the Silver Line began on August 27, 2011.[3][10] Restoring this car for use in the trolley system required over 3,000 volunteer hours and $850,000 in donations.[11] For the first two weeks of the vintage trolley's run, riders who boarded at the 12th & Imperial Transit Center received "commemorative tickets" to use for boarding the trolley.[2][10] Due to the limited amount of streetcars, initial service for the line was limited to weekends and holidays every 30 minutes between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm. On December 20, 2011, service was expanded to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm as well as weekends and holidays from 11 am to 3:30 pm. It was expected that more service hours will be added upon the completion of additional streetcars.[10]

Operations[edit]

Hours of operation[edit]

Due to the limited amount of streetcars, service for the line currently only operates every 30 minutes during Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:52 am to 1:52pm pm, as well as on weekends and select holidays from 10:52 am to 3:22 pm.[7]

Stations[edit]

As the heritage PCC streetcars are single-ended, the Silver Line operates one-way in a clockwise-only rotation around downtown San Diego.[2][12]

The "downtown loop" – the route for the Silver Line.
Silver Line
(Heritage Streetcar Downtown Loop)
Station Name Connections Bus Info Notes
12th & Imperial Transit Center San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg MTS Info icon.svg Serves Petco Park.
Universal transfer station for all lines.
Terminus for Green and Silver Lines.
Gaslamp Quarter San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line Serves Gaslamp Quarter; also Convention Center & Petco Park.
Convention Center San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line Serves Convention Center.
Seaport Village San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line Serves Seaport Village.
America Plaza San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves One America Plaza.
Directly adjacent to Santa Fe Depot – so is an "indirect" transfer point for the Green Line.
Terminus for Blue Line.
Civic Center San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves City Hall, Courthouse, and Horton Plaza.
Fifth Avenue San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves Downtown San Diego.
City College San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves San Diego City College, San Diego High School.
Park & Market San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg

Rolling Stock[edit]

All PCC cars operating on the Silver Line are Post-War St. Louis Car Company "all-electric" units.

The Silver Line began service in August 2011 with one operational heritage 1946 Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) streetcar, Car #529.[6][9]

In March 2014, MTS took possession of a second 1946 Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) streetcar, destined to join the Silver Line fleet as Car #530.[13][14] Restoration work on this trolley car, aided by a grant from San Diego Gas & Electric, took one year, and Car #530 entered service on the Silver Line on March 2, 2015, as part of the centennial celebrations for Balboa Park.[5]

Car #531, a former SEPTA PCC manufactured in 1948, has also been funded for restoration at the MTS PCC shop, but has not made its debut on the line yet.

All cars have had pantograph current collection equipment added to them, as the overhead contact system that MTS operates is not compatible with trolley poles. The cars on the Silver Line retain their trolley poles, however, for visual effect.

Additional streetcars[edit]

MTS has longer-term plans to restore an additional five PCC streetcars to expand heritage streetcar service operations. It is yet to be announced when these streetcars will be restored for service operations.[4]

Ridership[edit]

Due to its limited days and hours of operation, and due to some service interruptions throughout 2014, the Silver Line transported just 29,104 riders during FY 2014.[15] In FY 2015, 32,944 riders rode the Silver Line according to the MTS.[1]

Future service plans[edit]

Trolley Renewal Project[edit]

While the Silver Line has no plans to use the new Siemens S70 models, the stations along the line were scheduled to undergo restoration to improve service on the trolley system and to enable usage of the Siemens S70 on the Orange and Blue Lines, as part of the Trolley Renewal Project.[16] All the stations served by the Silver Line have been renovated as of Fall 2013, so no further disruptions of service on this line are expected.

Balboa Park streetcar line[edit]

One of the future proposals for trolley expansion is to potentially extend the Silver Line from Downtown up towards Balboa Park and the Uptown communities.[17] MTS began work in March 2011 on a study to evaluate the feasibility of reconnecting Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Downtown San Diego through a fixed-guideway, electrified 1.5-mile (2.4 km) streetcar line.[18] The project study corridor runs between the City College Trolley Station area, and Balboa Park, in the vicinity of the San Diego Zoo.[19] An alignment similar to the proposed one was last served by a streetcar system in 1949 on Line 7 (Park Boulevard-University Avenue to East San Diego) & Line 11 (Park Boulevard-Adams Avenue to Kensington).[20][21][22] In October 2012, MTS released a study to evaluate the feasibility of reconnecting Balboa Park and downtown San Diego via an electrified streetcar corridor.[18] This is the first step in the process to construct such a project. An initial timeline offered in the study for the project's completion was 5 years.[18]

Proposed Balboa Park streetcar alignment[edit]

Station Name Connections Bus Notes
Zoo Place
(Proposed Station)
Will serve San Diego Zoo.
Prado
(Proposed Station)
Will serve most museums in Balboa Park.
Naval Medical Center
(Proposed Station)
Will serve Naval Medical Center.
Presidents Way
(Proposed Station)
Will serve Aerospace Museum, International Houses, and other facilities south of Spreckles Organ Pavilion.
San Diego High School
(Proposed Station)
Will serve San Diego High School.
Park Boulevard
(Proposed Station)
Will serve San Diego City College.
City College San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves San Diego City College, San Diego High School.
Continues to Downtown Loop.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MTS Announces Consecutive Years of Record Ridership With Nearly 97 million Passengers in FY 2015". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. October 1, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Route Map and Fares". sdvintagetrolley.com. San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Vintage trolley rolling out; 1949 all over again". The San Diego Union-Tribune. August 17, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "Discovering Old PCCs". San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Restored Trolley from 1946 Makes Public Debut on Silver Line". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Metropolitan Transit System PCC Light Rail Vehicle" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. February 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "San Diego Vintage Trolley". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  8. ^ P. Allen Copeland. "San Diego and the PCC Streetcar" (pdf). San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "San Diego Vintage Trolley Website". San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "MTS Unveils Vintage Trolley and Silver Line for Service to Public on Saturday, August 27th!". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. August 25, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  11. ^ "News Releases". San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  12. ^ "San Diego Vintage Trolley – The "Silver Line"". sdera.org. San Diego Electric Railway Association. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
  13. ^ "MTS Takes Delivery of Historic Vintage Trolley PCC #530". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. March 2, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Dwane Brown (March 3, 2015). "San Diego MTS Working To Restore Vintage Trolley Car For Silver Line Service". KPBS. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "MTS Announces a Record 95 Million Passengers Rode the Bus and Trolley in FY 2014". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. August 19, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "MTS To Purchase 57 New Light Rail Vehicles". KGTV (10 News). September 24, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  17. ^ "Trolley madness". San Diego Uptown News. December 20, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  18. ^ a b c "MTS City/Park Streetcar Feasibility Study". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. October 9, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  19. ^ "MTS Streetcar Proposed Alignment Map". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Archived from the original (gif) on May 11, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  20. ^ "Steering Committee Presentation & Discussion" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. April 5, 2011. p. 3. Retrieved July 6, 2011 – via http://www.sdmts.com/inside-mts-current-projects/streetcar-feasibility-study.
  21. ^ "STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING No. 2 PRESENTATION" (PDF). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Archived from the original (pdf) on October 2, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011 – via http://www.sdmts.com/inside-mts-current-projects/streetcar-feasibility-study.
  22. ^ "Steering Committee Presentation & Discussion No. 3 Presentation" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Retrieved December 17, 2011 – via http://www.sdmts.com/inside-mts-current-projects/streetcar-feasibility-study.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata