San Francisco has trolley cars. Someday, Colorado Springs will, too.
The Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation is now restoring streetcars. And a donation to the group could save you extra money on your taxes.
So far, the group has restored two streetcars that are parked in the trolley barn near I-25 and Fillmore. An additional 18 trolleys are in-line to be restored. The foundation is hoping to have the streetcars running in two years.
Even now, you can climb aboard Trolley Car 2129 and take a short ride near the trolley barn. It will keep rolling and making stops when tracks are laid from the barn to downtown Colorado Springs.
The trolleys still waiting for restoration were used years ago---all across the country. They ran in cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Denver. "Most are in pretty good shape, mechanically. It's physical work they need," says restoration specialist Greg Roberts.
The oldest streetcar dates back to 1901. It ran on the streets of Colorado Springs and the hope is it will come back. But restoration is time consuming and expensive. The cost can run from $75,000 to $250,000 per trolley. But volunteers are doing much of the work. "It's a job that requires no great skill---just a lot of patience," says volunteer Al Marcus.
It was 1932 when the last year trolley cars ran in Colorado Springs. The Railway Foundation needs to raise millions of dollars to bring that past back to life. It's a nonprofit organization, and it's also part of the El Paso County Enterprise Zone. That means anyone who donates $500 or more will get an extra 25% tax credit on state income tax.