Charlotte Trolley has a fundamental problem: It lacks an active trolley service.
But maybe not for long. The nonprofit group is eyeing a return to the tracks as soon as this year, this time running from Cedar Street in the Third Ward on to the Wesley Heights and Seversville neighborhoods.
Developer Greg Pappanastos, immediate past president of Charlotte Trolley, tells TT talks with the state about using the former Piedmont & Northern Railway track are going well.
“The last two years, we’ve been turning the ship around to get back in operating mode,” Pappanastos says.
Charlotte Trolley runs a South End museum but lost its most vital asset when Charlotte Area Transit System stopped running replica trolleys in 2010. Limited trolley service began in the late 1990s, fueled by a city investment of $17 million. The arrival of light rail in 2007 eventually derailed the trolley.
Charlotte Trolley has four vintage cars in various states of repair and could use at least one immediately. For now, the Third Ward corridor has been unofficially dubbed the Stewart Creek Line, with hopes of launching in the next year or two along the 1.25-mile path.
Patrick Simmons, director of the rail division of the state transportation department, says the line could have potential ties to the planned Gateway Station. “There’s a lot to be worked out. We’re practical. Where we can work with communities, we certainly do that.”