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Charlotte: Heritage Trolley Service Launched

By Light Rail Now! Publication Team • July 2004

A major step forward in the program to install an interlaced heritage streetcar and modern LRT system in Charlotte, NC was taken on Monday, 28 June 2004 with the launch of a heritage electric rail trolley service from the city's South End through Uptown Charlotte. The rollout of historic trolley service marked the return of electric trolley cars onto Charlotte's streets for the first time since service ended in 1938.
[Photo: Charlotte Trolley]

The trolley line runs approximately 2.1 miles with 10 stations along the line (see map, below). Much of the route through downtown will be shared with modern LRT trains of the South LRT line, now in development.
[Historic South End website, 28 June 2004; map: Charlotte Trolley]

"Charlotte has a rich history of rail in this area and we are honored to bring back a piece of nostalgia to Charlotte" said Ron Tober, Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the region's public transit agency.
[CATS News Release, 23 June 2004]

"This is a momentous occasion for the City of Charlotte" proclaimed Mayor Patrick McCrory, adding that "The investment value along this corridor is now at $400 million, and we expect it to increase even more because of the thriving offices, housing, and entertainment businesses. The opening of the trolley line will spur further development, but it also provides the city with a new historic cultural amenity, as well as a transportation choice, all rolled into one."
[CATS News Release, 23 June 2004]

As Light Rail Now! has previously reported, light rail transit is proposed to run from Uptown Charlotte through south Charlotte. The planned 9.8-mile south LRT line, terminating just short of Pineville, is projected to cost $371 million, or about $38 million per mile, including the trackage shared with the existing historic trolley line.

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