Jose operates vintage trolleys over the downtown portion of its light rail
system using an immaculately maintained fleet of four trolleys, which
includes two San
Jose natives. The native San Jose trolleys were painstakingly restored from
carbodies found in use as homes in the local area. Rounding out the active roster are a
car from Melbourne, Australia, and a Milan, Italy car converted by San
Jose for double-end operation. The
vintage cars are currently used daily from early April through early
October. One car circulates through the route every 45 minutes, intermixed
with LRV traffic. Regular VTA fares are charged on the historic trolleys
(ticket machines at stations).
The vintage cars are owned by a local non-profit
organization which was formed in 1982 as the California Trolley
Corporation, for the purpose of
acquiring and restoring vintage trolley cars. The Santa Clara Transit
District in turn leases completed trolley cars from the Trolley
corporation at a nominal $1 per year. As a condition of the lease, the vintage cars are maintained
by VTA at a dedicated shop that is part of the
Light Rail Service Facility located at Younger St.
In 1999, car 124 was removed from the vintage
trolley lineup, and is now at nearby Kelley Park, where it remains in
operation. In 1999, SJTC also sold car 129 for $450,000 to Sacramento
Regional Transit for use in special operations, as well as a possible
future vintage trolley line.
Kelley Park Trolley
The story of San Jose's vintage trolley operation is
closely intertwined with that of the Kelley Park Trolley. Located a mile
southeast of downtown, the Kelley Park Trolley came into being as a
result of the downtown vintage trolley project, with which it remains
closely allied. That operation required a restoration facility and test track for
the reconstruction and testing of cars, and the Kelley Park Trolley was
created to fill this need. In 1994, the Kelley Park Trolley became part of
the California Trolley &
Railroad Corporation, a new non-profit which has combined the trolley
with a local railway preservation group to form a comprehensive regional
Kelley Park Trolley operates through the grounds of the remarkable San Jose Historical
Museum in Kelley Park
The park is open daily except Monday, and the Trolley Barn is open
Thursday-Sunday. Kelley Park is a beautifully landscaped 14 acre site,
recreating an historic town setting complete with paved streets lined with
relocated and replica buildings. It provides a truly remarkable backdrop
for the trolleys, and a visit is highly recommended!
Park scenes, John
2003- San Jose hosted the 2003 APTA Rail
Transit Conference in June, during which the APTA Heritage Trolley
Task Force held a meeting. Conference participants were also able
to enjoy rides on vintage car No. 1 which was in regular service
for two days. Unfortunately, regular heritage trolley service on
the VTA system has been suspended owing to budget constraints, and
so this may prove to have been the only two days for heritage
trolley operation in San Jose this season.
Jose's heritage trolleys turn back on San Carlos St. in
between regular LRV runs.
off San Carlos onto First and the northbound leg of the
downtown transit mall.
north up First St. at St. James. Transit blends in nicely
with the downtown streetscape.
No. 1 crossing Santa Clara on First St.
James station northbound, adjacent to St. James park.
tracks on First St. dip under a Union Pacific Railroad
Melbourne W2 car undergoing heavy repairs.
2003- Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's
Historic Trolleys will again add to the festive ambiance and décor of downtown San Jose during the holidays. The 100-year-old Trolley-Car 1 and
Milan Car 2001, will begin service Friday, November 28, 2003, and continue through Thursday, January 1, 2004. The trolleys will operate every 45 minutes between Civic Center and Convention Center Light Rail Stations (weather permitting) on the following schedule:
* Fridays, Christmas Eve, and New Years Eve: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
* Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas and New Years Day: 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Holiday Historic Trolley service is in conjunction with Christmas in the Park, which is being held at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose.
VTA News Release
2009- The California Trolley &
Railroad Corporation opened a major new line extension to the Kelley
Park trolley operation this month. The Happy Hollow extension runs
for a about 3/4 mile, primarily along Sentner Blvd., allowing the
trolleys to access the Happy Hollow Zoo and the Japanese
Friendship Gardens. Congratulations to all at CTRC on this
major milestone! More
details are available on the website.
Jose page on the APTA Heritage Trolley site
California Trolley & Railroad
Kelley Park Trolley Barn
Pix- San Jose page
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