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Memphis, Tennessee: Main Street Trolley


The Memphis Area Transit Authority operates the Main Street Trolley, a heritage-type streetcar system with three services:

The system uses mostly rehabilitated cars that once ran in Porto, Portugal; Melbourne, Australia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, along with modern replicas built by Gomaco Trolley Company. Although the Main Street / Riverfront Loop and Madison Avenue lines connect physically at the intersection of Main and Madison, the two lines are operated separately, with no through service.

Pictures (2002)

These pictures were taken on 21 June 2002. At this time the cars still used trolley poles.

[picture] An ex-Porto car, southbound on Main Street at Jefferson.

[picture] Head-on view of an ex-Porto car, seen from the rear window of a preceding car at the north end of the Main Street line.

[picture] An ex-Melbourne car on the riverfront private right-of-way near the Convention Center. The concrete column at left is one of the supports for the Mud Island monorail.

[picture #1] | [picture #2] An ex-Porto and an ex-Melbourne car, respectively, at the clock tower in front of the Civic Center.

[picture] Interior of an ex-Melbourne car, showing the intricate details of the wood trim.

[picture] The operator's controller stand at one end of an ex-Melbourne car.

Pictures (2010)

These pictures were taken on 2 June 2010. The cars now use pantographs instead of trolley poles. We proceed along Main Street from south to north.

[picture #1] | [picture #2] An ex-Porto car (#187) serving the Main Street line reverses on the tail track just south of G. E. Patterson Avenue. The Amtrak station is to the right.

[picture #1] | [picture #2] At the same location, a car from Rio de Janeiro (#1794) serving the Riverfront Loop turns from G. E. Patterson onto Main.

[picture] Car #1979, a single-truck Gomaco replica, approaches the Huling Avenue station northbound. The National Civil Rights Museum (the former Lorraine Motel) is a block to the right (east).

[picture] An ex-Melbourne car (#1978) passes the Orpheum Theater on the corner of Beale Street.

[picture] Another ex-Melbourne car (#540) enters the Main Street Mall at Peabody Place.

[picture] Car #540 again, at the the Peabody Place station at night.

[picture #1] | [picture #2] At the intersection of Main and Madison, Madison Avenue cars turn around by "wyeing" on Main Street. Ex-Melbourne car #454 is turns onto Madison to begin its eastbound trip, while #1979 waits for it to clear the junction; and then proceeds eastward on Madison.

[picture] #1794 picks up passengers at the Court Square station.

[picture] #1979 is about to cross Adams Avenue and enter the Civic Center area. Another car is coming up behind it at Court Square.

[picture] Gomaco replica car #453 is just north of the Civic Center station with its distinctive clock tower. This type of car is also used in Little Rock, Arkansas and Tampa, Florida.

[picture] The Auction Avenue station is the northern terminal for Main street cars. #1978 pulls out to begin a southbound trip.

[picture] Riverfront cars continue northward from Auction Avenue about a half block, then turn left onto a private right-of-way that takes them to the riverfront tracks for the southbound leg of the route. The carbarn is a bit further north along Main Street.

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This page was last updated on 10 May 2010.

Presbyterian College > Academic Web Server > Jon Bell > Transit > (Cities | Types) > Memphis > Trolley

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