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 Post subject: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 287
The Issaquah Valley Trolley is closing down for good, citing insurance costs. Trolley ran on one mile of former NP track in downtown Issaquah, WA, along the old Seattle, Lake Shore, & Eastern line from Seattle to North Bend.

https://www.facebook.com/169217789775974/posts/3570132136351172/

Here's Issaquah History Museum's Facebook post in its entirety:


"After thorough discussion, the Issaquah History Museums (IHM) Board of Directors has come to the conclusion that it will not be possible to continue to operate the Issaquah Valley Trolley in the future. Recent changes to our required minimum insurance have increased operating costs well beyond predicted earnings and the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic makes it questionable whether or when we will be able to accommodate our volunteers or visitors safely.

IHM wishes to thank all of the volunteers and supporters who have worked so hard to keep the trolley operating for the enjoyment of thousands of passengers over the years. The Issaquah Valley Trolley will continue to be a treasured story preserved by IHM and IHM will continue to share the story of Issaquah’s railway history."

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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 222
Sad news. I remember riding that trolley when it first became operational. Although it's closing I doubt if the line is in danger. The depot and tracks are not going anywhere on that tiny stretch of land. I am sure a new operator will take it over once things get back to normal.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:02 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2578
Location: Northern Illinois
What is the car?

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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
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The car looks like one of the Oporto cars imported by Paul Klass in the 1960s.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:19 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2684
Tom F wrote:
Sad news. I remember riding that trolley when it first became operational. Although it's closing I doubt if the line is in danger. The depot and tracks are not going anywhere on that tiny stretch of land. I am sure a new operator will take it over once things get back to normal.


The depot is already a museum and they didn’t mention any changes to that. It’s owned by the city, as is the line. I think you’re right that it’s safe and possibly the operation could resume at some point. I suspect insurance costs and modest ridership will still be a challenge though.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 68
It's a 1925 Brill originally built for Lisbon, Portugal. Instead of overhead, they tow a generator behind the car.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
So what exactly are we losing from a preservation stand point?


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Bobharbison wrote:
Tom F wrote:
Sad news. I remember riding that trolley when it first became operational. Although it's closing I doubt if the line is in danger. The depot and tracks are not going anywhere on that tiny stretch of land. I am sure a new operator will take it over once things get back to normal.


The depot is already a museum and they didn’t mention any changes to that. It’s owned by the city, as is the line. I think you’re right that it’s safe and possibly the operation could resume at some point. I suspect insurance costs and modest ridership will still be a challenge though.


Insurance can be a challenge, but that can usually be overcome if enough interested parties work together. Old Pueblo Trolley in Tucson, Arizona was actually insured through the City of Tucson for a period when insurance rates spiked. City of Tucson had in interest in keeping the streetcars running as they were a tourist attraction and the line functioned as transportation. Eventually, premiums came back down to a reasonable amount and we got commercial insurance again through Dan Roddy's company.

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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 635
Location: B'more Maryland
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
So what exactly are we losing from a preservation stand point?


I'm curious too.

It sounds like a fun endeavor, but other than keeping some modified equipment around, what larger mission was this operation serving beyond "ooh, that's kinda fun"?

In the coming years, many operations are going to face this same reckoning and having good answers to that question is going to be important when those days come.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:22 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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What are we losing? Well, I can’t speak for the organization, but I’d say we’re losing two things. The first is the last intact track segment in town, all the rest has been converted to a trail. The other would be an attraction that encouraged families to visit the museum. Museums draw young families a lot better when there’s a fun activity for kids.
While the equipment wasn’t authentic to the location, the track is and they do a great job of presenting local history.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:26 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
Children are also attracted to a bounce house. Much cheaper than a trolley!


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:20 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 635
Location: B'more Maryland
Bobharbison wrote:
While the equipment wasn’t authentic to the location, the track is and they do a great job of presenting local history.


I think that's the important thing to focus on in this situation. THAT is a value to the community.


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
Bobharbison wrote:
While the equipment wasn’t authentic to the location, the track is and they do a great job of presenting local history.


I think that's the important thing to focus on in this situation. THAT is a value to the community.


Value to the community is the key. Old Pueblo Trolley's demonstration railway was interesting in that we did much more than present local history. On the days that we operated (Friday through Sunday), we also provided actual transportation between the University of Arizona and the shopping district on Fourth Avenue.

It was interesting to see how the type of patron changed as the day went on. Early shift got mostly tourists and families. Mid shift saw more locals and families. Late shift got a lot of intoxicated college kids riding between the bars on 4th Avenue and the University. The neighborhood associations, university and local police department saw the value that the museum provided to the community and the value that a modern streetcar line would provide. We were victims of our own success-we actually achieved one of our mission statement goals and put that part of the museum out of business (ironically).

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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 776
I've ridden the whole light rail system in Tucson, I wish I could have ridden the historic trolleys when they were operating, it's a very nice line. I remember a pretty good grade near the end of the line by the college, did the trolleys run on that portion?


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 Post subject: Re: Issaquah Trolley Closing Down
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Tucson, Arizona
The only portion that Old Pueblo Trolley operated on was Main Gate to Congress Street and 5th Avenue. The loop was only in operation for a brief period and has the steepest grade on the line-8% right where the car has to stop for the traffic light. The only car that was permitted to operate on the loop was tram 1511, due to the traction needed to start on the 8% grade. It has both axels powered whereas the larger Japanese car only had two axels powered. The other advantage the 1511 had was dynamic brakes, which were used going up to the University. Each round trip required the car to turn on the wye at 8th Street.

The grade on the original line was not terribly significant. One interesting fact was that inbound cars from the University didn't need to use power, except to start up. Once you got moving, gravity and the downhill grade took care of the rest. There were plenty of times that I coasted the car from University Boulevard to 8th Street. Occasionally, monsoons would flood part of the street around 4th Street. If the water got to more than three inches above the rail head, we'd have to temporarily suspend operations below that point until the water drained down a little. If it was less than three inches deep, we'd creep through it.

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