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Astoria Trolley Back Again This Weekend in Historic Oregon Coast Town

Published 07/22/21 at 7:15 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Astoria Trolley Back Again This Weekend in Historic Oregon Coast Town

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(Astoria, Oregon) – For 16 months it was gone. That much-loved and famed Astoria Riverfront Trolley was closed due to the pandemic, no longer providing those leisurely and distinctive runs around the historic north Oregon coast town. Now, however the trolley back in action this weekend.. (Photo above courtesy Travel Astoria-Warrenton).

The historic trolley makes its return on Friday, July 23, according to an announcement by the Travel Astoria-Warrenton group.

For now, it's a limited schedule, as the trolley feature does not yet have enough volunteers to serve up the rail rides. The Astoria Trolley will be running from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, until they have had a chance to train more volunteers and get them properly certified.

“Riders will make optional payments in a donation box,” the agency said.

The car's normal costs were $1 per ride or $2 to ride all day. Regular schedules were daily in the summer before the pandemic.

The Old 300 trolley car (built by the American Car Company back in 1913) takes about an hour to chug around town, but don't look for rigid stop times at Astoria's trolley shelters.

“There is no set time that they will be at a particular stop,” said Regina Wilkie, with the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce. “It is a pretty loose schedule - fun ride versus a means of transit.”

Trolley trips are weather permitting as well.

Among the spots to catch a ride include the Astoria Red Lion Inn, Maritime Memorial (near Bay Street); the foot of 6th, 11th and 14th streets; Maritime Museum, foot of 17th Street; East End Mooring Basin, foot of 36th St. Or you can wave a $1 bill at the trolley at any place along the north Oregon coast town to make it stop for you.

Trolley History

This particular trolley comes from a group of cars made by the St. Louis-based American Car Company that are numbered 300 to 313, constructed of steel and wood. It then lived a life of service in San Antonio, Texas, until 1933.

Car 300 was then shuffled off to the Witte Museum in the Texas town, left outside and under increasing weather damage until 1948. After that, it received some TLC from restoration experts, but some of its mechanical parts had been loaned out during World War II and never returned.

In 1968, car 300 reappeared in an outdoor display through the year 1980, during which time it acquired a serious case of rot. In the early ‘80s, it underwent some major restoration, which included utilizing parts of car 311. That old trolley actually served as someone's residence for a time. The exterior and other parts were used to restore old 300, and mechanical parts were acquired from New Orleans to refurbish its ability to function.

While still owned by the museum in Texas, in the early ‘90s the trolley found its way to the northwest, serving a trolley line between Portland and Lake Oswego for awhile and then to Gales Creek. As the latter operation began shutting down, the city of Astoria snapped up and it found its home on the north Oregon coast.

More restoration was done here by local devotees to the cause in 1999, and by the early 2000s it was operational, becoming a much-beloved icon of the Oregon coast town.

For more information see the Astoria Trolley page or call 325-6311 or (800) 875-6807. Leave message at 325-8790. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Photos below courtesy Travel Astoria-Warrenton

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