Wirth Watching: Sugar House Street Car

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The Utah Transit Authority introduced the new 11th east street car this week as part of an effort to get people off the roads an onto rail tracks. This is not a new concept. Salt Lake streetcars go back 140 years.

The Utah Transit Authority introduced the new 11th east street car this week as part of an effort to get people off the roads an onto rail tracks.

The new line connects Salt Lake City’s sugar house, to the central pointe station, near 2100 south and 3rd west.

But this is not a new concept.  Salt Lake streetcars go back 140 years.

Yes, it is a street car --- sort of like a real short train or a trolley. It’s the newest idea in the UTA plan. But not the newest idea in the city.

Crews and mules started laying track in 1872. Brigham Young thought it was a swell idea. You could get around just like you did back east.

Julia Hogan, a trolley historian, said, “At that time, street cars, horse cars, and they used mules from Missouri they started in August of that year.

Oh it got better... In 1889 

“1889 was really the turning point here. The exciting thing was the beginning of the trolley cars. The reason they were called trolley is because Salt Lake City was one of the first five cities in the world to have electric power,” said Hogan.

The electricity came from water power stations in the canyons. It made people excited and not very polite.

“500 people gathered at city hall and there was a fist fight to see who would be on the first trolley,” said Hogan.

Later E.H. Herriman of the Union Pacific bought the whole system and wanted to make it the model system in the country. In 1913 - 38 million fares a year bounced their way throughout the city.

And then Salt Lake also had another first, the first trolley bus combo. Electricity and no rails.

So it was quite a history. The trolleys continued to run all over town until august 19th of 1945. With a wreath on the front of the car, and people bidding good bye. It was the last trip to the old barn as people ran them off the road with their fancy new private cars.

Yes, the new version is a bit more comfortable with comfy pillows and no mules pulling it along.

“I really think it is exciting to see it come back... Especially because of the heritage of the city,” said Hogan.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus
local-businesses.png
cars.png dixie-local.jpg
Comic Con


Wirth Watching Headlines

TV Schedule Sponsored By:

Popular Stories on Facebook