Follow us:

The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

August 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Trolley car revives historic Issaquah railway

Gabi_0809_Trolley01 Trolley volunteer Barbara Justice operates the vintage streetcar
during a test of the new traffic signals installed at Front Street.

—ooo—

Gabi_0809_Trolley03

I never thought I would ride a Portuguese trolley anywhere but in Lisbon,
where I lived for a few months in the late ’90s.

—ooo—

Sketched July 30, 2013

Some cities love trolleys more than others.

While Seattle has watched its fleet of waterfront streetcars collect dust in a Sodo warehouse, Issaquah has gone as far as Colorado and Iowa to bring a trolley to its downtown corridor.

The idea gained traction after the city restored its historic train depot in 1994. “We wanted to run something on the track, and it couldn’t be a steam engine,” said trolley volunteer Barbara Justice.

Saturday, almost two decades later, an old car (originally from Lisbon, Portugal) that Justice and her team found in Aspen, Colo., and then sent to Iowa for restoration makes its debut as Issaquah’s newest attraction. The trolley line runs on the historic tracks once used for freight and passenger service to Seattle. It is part of the revitalization of the downtown and meant to attract more visitors to Issaquah’s museums.

Though the trolley will travel only half a mile back and forth, Justice said the distance is not the point. “We are in the history business, not the transportation business.”

The Issaquah Valley Trolley will operate on weekends, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on a “pay as you can” basis.

Gabi_0809_Trolley02 Justice said when the restored trolley arrived from Iowa last summer she was so excited that she wanted to hug it.

—ooo—

Your community. What draws you in? Send me your suggestions of interesting places and people to sketch via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.

Comments | More in History, Portraits, Transportation | Topics: Issaquah


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►