Savannah, Georgia

From nycsubway.org


Savannah's River Street Streetcar #756. Photo by Richard Panse, May 2009.


Along River Street on the Savannah waterfront, a new tourist streetcar operation began service on February 11, 2009. The line consists of a piece of old freight trackage along the waterfront, an area that now contains all sorts of tourist-oriented shops, restaurants, etc. The tracks were once owned by the Southern Railway and were in active freight operation until about a decade ago. River Street is both narrow and one-way; traffic signals have been installed to hold traffic while the car is operating against the flow of automotive traffic.

Savannah acquired an ex-Melbourne W Type streetcar. It's been equipped with a pair of "clean diesel" engines for operation in Savannah. The car's electric propulsion remains in place and it is hoped that someday service can be extended from River Street to a visitor's center that's located in the old Central of Georgia passenger terminal using overhead wires.

Plans call for a second car to be added to the operation. Old PCCs were considered but the work necessary to convert these to double-ended operation was excessive, so Plan B is to rehabilitate a Birney Safety Car that's currently rotting away at the Savannah Railroad Museum. (I pointed out to one of the techs I spoke to that Seashore Trolley Museum has long had a number of ex-MBTA double-ended PCC's for sale.)

Like the IRT No. 1 Line, the new Savannah Riverfront Trolley will allow passengers to transfer to a free ferry service. Not one that links Whitehall Street and Saint George, of course, but rather one that crosses the Savannah River.

Photo Gallery

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Official Site - River Street Streetcar. The official site of the River Street Streetcar, including schedules, fares, and more.

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By Brian Cudahy.

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