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Yakima Trolley 6/19/2011

by Chris Guenzler

I got up early and after showering I put the corrections in the Sumpter Valley Railway Story and then posted it on After that I went to MacDonald's for Hot Cakes and sausage before going to Savon to pick up a few things. I then returned to my room and wrote the Washington State Railroads Historical Society Museum Collection story and then uploaded and sent Winston an E-mail to proof it. I checked out and had the Northern Pacific Station to take pictures of.

The BNSF Sign in Yakima.

The Northern Pacific Station in Yakima. Across the tracks was my next photo shoot of the morning.

Track 29 Mall Collection

The sign along Yakima Avenue.

The Taylor Tots Child Care on the north end has these two cars.

There is plenty of railroading to see here at the Track 29 Mall.

Union Pacific Cascade Pass 906032.

Two other cars are part of this restaurant.

Tequila's Mexican Family Restaurant.

Railroad Crossing Signals are also here.

Various railroad signals are located here.

This box car houses the Hummingbird.

There is a Northern Pacific Caboose here.

There is a line of freight cars beyond the caboose. That ends our visit to the Track 29 Mall. I pulled out onto Yakima Avenue and saw another grade crossing signal and guess what I found.

Americana 1502 is former Alaska RR F7 1502.

Seaboard Coast Line FT. Monmouth 1508.

Central of Georgia Ft. Benning 697. From here I drove to the Yakima Trolley Car Barn and parked my rental car.

Yakima Trolley

I met Paul who opened the door and then pulled out their sign for "Rides Today".

The sign now out by the street.

A brief history

The Yakima Valley Trolleys operate on the tracks of the former Yakima Valley Transportation Company (YVT Co) in Yakima, Washington, U.S.A. The YVT is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because it is the last authentic, all-original, turn-of-the-century interurban electric railroad in the United States. The degree to which the complete YVT system has been preserved is unsurpassed. The railroad was constructed between 1907 and 1913. Its greatest length was just over 44 miles. Presently approximately five miles of track remain, connecting the cities of Yakima and Selah, Washington. Electric trains have operated on the YVT trackage every year since 1907. Service was first limited to a streetcar line in downtown Yakima. In 1909 the YVT was purchased by the Union Pacific Railroad with the purpose of expanding the system as a feeder of freight and produce to the Union Pacific mainline. The YVT built a large stone and timber carbarn/shop facility in 1910. In 1911 a concrete and masonry powerhouse substation was constructed to provide the necessary DC electricity to operate the trolleys. Both buildings are still in use today. The overhead wire catenary is also original. Streetcar service became less and less popular as more Americans were able to purchase automobiles. Finally in February of 1947 the YVT terminated streetcar service, however the electric freight trains continued to operate. In 1974 the City of Yakima purchased two streetcars from Portugal to revive passenger service as a tourist operation. The project also served as Yakima's Bicentennial project in 1976. The Union Pacific Railroad decided to abandon the Yakima Valley Transportation Company freight operations in 1985. Almost all of the system was donated to the City of Yakima in the process, and has been open as a museum since that time. The Yakima Valley Trolleys organization was incorporated in 2001 to operate the railroad for the City of Yakima. Present and future generations are able to experience an early-American street railway almost exactly as it was 100 years ago and come to understand the important role transit held in developing the City of Yakima as well as the rest of the industrialized world.

After buying my ticket, Bob and Elizabeth soon arrived to join me for my adventures today.

Two large generators.

More of the unique electric machines located here.

I went outside for some pictures.

BN Box Car 951307.

A tank car located here.

Yakima Trolley Flat Car 55838.

Union Pacific Box Car 912502.

Burlington Northern 70700.

MKT Box Car 100248.

Next I walked over to the Yakima Trolley Car Barn.

Type: Steeple Cab Freight Locomotive 298 Builder: General Electric Date Built: 1922. Notes: Built new for the YVT. In freight service from 1922 to 1985. Presently in operating condition.

Steeple Cab Freight Locomotive 298 Builder Plate.

There is another generator in the car barn.

1976 Type: Single Truck Streetcar Builder: Carbody: STCP (Oporto, Portugal) Undercarriage: J.G. Brill Company. Date Built: 1928. Notes: Single truck car similar in appearance to Yakima's first streetcars. Built and operated in Oporto, Portugal as streetcar 254. Brought to Yakima in 1974 and was Yakima's U.S. Bicentennial project. It has remained in continuous operation ever since.

Type: Flatbed Locomotive/Line Car A Builder: Niles Car Company Date Built: 1910. Notes: Built new for the YVT. Used as a flatbed locomotive until 1922 when it was converted to a line car. Presently in operating condition and has been in continuous service since 1910.

Number 21 Type: Double Truck Steel Streetcar Builder: American Car Company (Brill) Built 1930.

Type: Single Truck Streetcar 1776 Builder: Carbody: STCP (Oporto, Portugal) Undercarriage: J.G. Brill Company. Date Built: 1928. Notes: Single truck car similar in appearance to Yakima's first streetcars. Built and operated in Oporto, Portugal as streetcar 260. Brought to Yakima in 1974 and was Yakima's U.S. Bicentennial project. It has remained in continuous operation ever since.

Type: Double Truck Steel Streetcar 22 Builder: American Car Company (Brill) Date Built: 1930. Notes: One of three Brill Master Units built new for the YVT. Ran in Yakima until 1947, then sold to Portland Traction Company and ran in Portland, Oregon until 1958, then sold to Robert Hively and displayed at the Puget Sound Railway Historical Association museum in Snoqualmie, Washington. Returned to Yakima in 1989. Presently awaiting restoration to operating condition.

Yakima Trolley 1776 came out of the car barn.

First the car has to be disconnected for the car barn power source.

Next the trolley pole had to be connected to the trolley wire.

The Yakima Trolley Car Barn Door is then closed. We were then taken aboard the car to the boarding area.

Here is Bob coming off of the Trolley Car 1776.

Trolley Car 1776 looks great in the bright sunshine of this morning. Guess who just pulled in. None other than my good friends Bart and Sarah Jennings. You never know where Bart and I will meet up.

Now the Trolley Pole is reversed for our trip down West Pine Street. The Selah Gap run hasn't been run due to wire thieves who stole the copper wire to sell. They hope to restore this longer operation but until then the trips will run west down West Pine Street.

The Trip

Bob and Elizabeth were in the front of the car.

Bart and Sarah Jennings were riding in the rear of the car with me.

The trolley left the boarding area before turning west onto West Pine Street. Now enjoy the trip up West Pine Street.

This was our run up West Pine Street.

The Trolley runs off of West Pine Street to where we end our run.

The Trolley has come to the west end of the trip at Treton Drive and Holton Ave. We detrained to get pictures of Car 1776 here at the west end of the line.

Trolley Car 1776 at the west end of their present operations. I enjoyed the ride back talking with Bart and Sarah the whole way back. Once there a Car Barn Tour was given for us.

Views of the Car Barn Tour. After that we said goodbye to Bart and Sarah who would be heading straight to Tacoma to the NRHS Convention there. Bob and Elizabeth will meet me in Toppenish to visit the Northern Pacific Railroad Museum there, my next story. Special thanks to the crew at the Yakima Trolley for a very special visit here.