Portland Vintage Trolley

From nycsubway.org


Portland Vintage Trolley "Council Crest" replica car on the MAX Blue (East-West) Line at Old Town-Chinatown. Photo by Peter Ehrlich, June 2006.


Portland's Vintage trolley continues the traditions of Portland's once-extensive streetcar system. Vintage trolleys share MAX light rail tracks and stations between Lloyd Center and Eleventh Avenue in downtown Portland. A special siding was built off of the MAX tracks near the Lloyd Center for the Vintage Trolley's eastern terminus station. Trolleys operate on Sundays. Rides are free; however, the trolley does accept donations.

A small trolley barn provides a space for overnight storage at Rose Quarter Transit Center. The barn sits underneath the I-5 viaduct next to the westbound MAX platform. Maintenance on the trolleys is also performed there.

The two Vintage Trolleys serving the Portland Streetcar line are stored at the Portland Streetcar yard under the I-405 Freeway in Northwest Portland.

When boarding, a conductor, dressed in a formal motorman's uniform, opens the doors and welcomes passengers aboard. While riding, the conductor will announce the stops and points of interest along the route. Overhead, historical information is placed where ads would normally occupy space in the original vehicles.

Passengers board at the rear of the car, where the conductor stands. The car is actually driven from the front by a plain-clothes operator.

The Portland Vintage Trolley is sponsored by the businesses lining its route. Stations that the trolley shares with MAX and all four of the cars bear a sponsor's markings or a plaque.

The Vintage Trolley shares the Portland MAX stations at Galleria/SW 10th Avenue, Library/SW 9th Avenue, Pioneer Square South, Pioneer Square North, Mall/SW 5th Avenue, Mall/SW 4th Avenue, Yamhill District, Morrison/ SW 3rd Avenue, Oak/SW 1st Avenue, Skidmore Fountain, Old Town/Chinatown, Rose Quarter Transit Center, Convention Center, and NE 7th Avenue. A special siding switches trolleys from the MAX tracks to a single track on 11th Avenue leading to the trolley-only Doubletree Hotel station.


Vintage trolleys are actually reproductions of Portland's 1904 Brill-built cars, which became known as the "Council Crest" streetcars in the 1920s. The Portland Vintage Trolley Company owns four of the replicas, numbered as cars 511 to 514, numbered after the originals. These cars were received in 1991, and look almost exactly like the original cars, right down to the pull-down window shades. Trolley pantographs even have to be lowered manually by the operator, just like in the old days.

Before the Czech-made streetcars arrived, the vintage trolleys were the only rail vehicles in Portland light and small enough to test the Portland Streetcar line. Two of the vintage trolleys are used as spares on the Portland Streetcar line.

Photo Gallery

Image 18664
(78k, 640x480)
Photo by: Adam J. Benjamin
Location: SW 11th Loop/Yard

Image 18668
(92k, 640x480)
Photo by: Adam J. Benjamin
Location: SW 10th/Galleria

Image 33017
(138k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Portland State U

Image 33018
(146k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: SW Mill/10th

Image 33023
(150k, 720x471)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Portland State U

Image 52439
(259k, 864x563)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: NE 7th

Image 52445
(243k, 864x574)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: SW 5th/Yamhill

Image 52454
(239k, 864x549)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Skidmore Fountain

Image 52455
(260k, 864x574)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: SW 11th/Morrison

Image 66843
(148k, 864x552)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Rose Quarter Barn

Image 73514
(118k, 820x616)
Photo by: Bob Wright
Location: 11th Ave-Location Unknown

Image 106070
(287k, 930x608)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: SW 6th (Pioneer Courthouse) (NB)

Image 106075
(273k, 930x618)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: 5th/Burnside

Image 106092
(259k, 930x618)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: SW 5th/Washington

Image 106097
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: SW 6th/Oak (NB)

More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-125


Official Site - Portland Vintage Trolley. Maps, history, schedules, and contact information for the Vintage Trolley.

Official Site - TriMet. Tri-County Metropolitan Transit District of Oregon Schedules, real-time arrivals, and more!

NW Virtual Transit Center. Unofficial transit site covering Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Page Credits

By Adam J. Benjamin.

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