TriMet sells heritage trolleys to St. Louis

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Portland's TriMet Board of Directors has approved selling two GOMACO vintage trolleys to the St. Louis Loop Trolley Transportation Development District.

The St. Louis group will pay $80,000 for the two units over time, beginning when the proposed St. Louis streetcar project (one of two proposed in the city) becomes operational.

“We are not giving them away,” TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch told local media. St. Louis would pay the full $80,000 plus “the balance of the local [Portland] share of the interest, so it relieves us of that cost. They would go from operating up to about eightdays a year to daily usage in St. Louis.”

The sale, approved Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, also allows TriMet to repurpose the trolley bar in Portland’s Rose Quarter into a MAX light rail transit maintenance station, improving system reliability and serviceability. “Current MOW crews are based in Gresham and Beaverton,” Fetsch said, or the outlying portions of the LRT system.

St. Louis also will pay for all transport costs associated with the sale.

The acquisition of two vintage GOMACO units is a key step for St. Louis Trolley, which last month overcame delays to meet a Federal Transit Administration deadline to submit required documentation for the project. The Loop Trolley route would include nine stations, connecting with two Metrolink light rail transit (LRT) stops at Forest Park and Delmar Loop stations. Federal funding of roughly $25 million already has been awarded to the line.