Issaquah Valley Trolley to return after Iowa restoration
August 22, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 5 p.m. Aug. 22, 2012
Issaquah Valley Trolley Project organizers said a 1925 streetcar is due to return to Issaquah on Thursday after a monthslong restoration in Iowa.
The restored streetcar departed from the Gomaco Trolley Co. in Ida Grove, Iowa, early Monday aboard a flatbed trailer. Organizers plan to unload the streetcar in Issaquah early Thursday.
Issaquah Valley Trolley Car No. 519 left Issaquah in March for a journey to the Midwest and Gomaco Trolley Co. — a streetcar manufacturer and restorer.
Representatives from the trolley project and the city traveled to Iowa in June to check on the streetcar’s progress amid the $744,700 renovation. Crews converted the vehicle from narrow gauge to standard gauge, and added modern equipment and safety features.
Organizers plan to test the streetcar on a stretch of downtown Issaquah track Saturday and train operators and mechanics in the subsequent days.
Crews earlier improved the track and signals at a planned streetcar crossing at Front Street North and Northeast Dogwood Street.
Supporters cobbled together donations, grants and lodging tax revenue to restore the track and streetcar.
Organizers intend to start regular trolley service along a stretch of downtown track on weekends in October, after the Salmon Days Festival.