Group hopes to bring back Seattle's waterfront trolleys

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SEATTLE —

A plan is in the works to bring back a piece of Seattle history -- the vintage trolleys on the city’s waterfront.

 

The group behind the effort said the plan to demolish the Alaskan Way Viaduct and remodel the waterfront offers a big chance to revive the trolleys.

 

Streetcar backers said they like the idea of reusing the original route down the waterfront, and much of the track is still here.

 

 But parts of it have been ripped up for the tunnel construction, and there are questions about where the south end of the line would go.

 

Veteran Seattle City Councilmember George Benson worked for nearly a decade to get the1924 vintage cars from Australia and start up the service in 1982.

 

It’s been mothballed for nearly a decade and many people hated to see it go.

 

But the trolleys’ maintenance barn was torn down to make way for the Olympic Sculpture Park.

 

The plan had been to move the barn and reopen the line, but that never happened.

 

Now a group called Save our Streetcar (Again) says on its website that nearly a dozen local heavy hitters have signed up to support bringing it back.

 

They say it dovetails well with the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement and the waterfront renovation.

 

While waterfront park designers hadn't planned on it, the group envisions using the original route.

 

There are several different ways the waterfront line could hook up to the new First Hill line - the favorite goes uphill on Main Street and South on 5th Avenue to intersect.        

 

Reports said the idea has backers at City Hall, too, but there's no firm commitment, and no one knows where the funding will come from.