Mile-High City has both an operating heritage trolley line and a
developing concept for a modern streetcar line.
Platte Valley Trolley offers a pleasant excursion ride along the Platte River,
paralleling a jogging and bike path for much of its run.
The line is operated by the non-profit Denver Rail Heritage
Society using a Gomaco-built replica of a New England open-air trolley car.
The group operates the excursion over a 1.5 mile section of former Burlington
Northern railroad, no longer used for freight service, as well as a 2 mile
section of former electric interurban track. The trolley has a
built-in diesel generator that powers its electric motors, and the line
has no overhead wire.
The entire right-of-way is owned by the Denver RTD, who acquired
it in the 1980s for possible future
transit use. RTD has been very supportive of the Platte Valley
Trolley project, and has even assisted with track improvements. Long-range
plans hold the possibility that this rail corridor may become part of
Denver's new Light Rail system, but for now the Platte Valley Trolley is
the only thing polishing the rails.
Between April and October the trolley operates on
Friday through Sunday on a 25 minute, 1.5 mile route along the South Platte River from 15th Street,
through Confluence Park to West Colfax Ave. Stops include the Children's Museum and the Auraria foot
bridge. Shuttle runs are also provided during Broncos football games,
The Gomaco car is stored on an open-air siding
adjacent to the former Denver Tramways powerhouse at the 15th St. end of
the line. Until 1998, this historic building housed the Forney
Transportation Museum, but has since become an REI outlet store. DRHS has also acquired Denver
Tramway streetcar .04, which it plans to eventually restore to