Testing For Main Street Trolleys Begins Monday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Be on the lookout for trolleys on Main Street. MATA is getting ready to bring back the historic cars that have been off the streets for the past three years.

MATA has been working diligently to get these steel wheel trolley cars back up and running, and Monday, they will test the trolley cars to make sure they are safe for public use.

The testing will take place on the track from the MATA Trolley Division Station, along Main Street to Central Station. The testing is part of the restart program, where MATA performs ongoing tests to the trolley cars, looking into every system of maintenance and operation.

This past summer MATA spent months getting the tracks ready for Monday’s trolley test. Testing will look into ongoing activation of the overhead wire, which carries 600-volts of direct current electricity to operate the trolley cars under their own power. It will also look into braking systems, stopping distances, and preventative maintenance cycles to keep the trolley safe in years to come with code standards.

Business owners along main street have expressed frustration, saying the lack of a trolley system has negatively impacted them. MATA officials say they understand their frustrations, but keeping the public safe is their number one priority.

“The question has been when will these trolleys be operating," says Gary Rosenfeld, MATA CEO. “There's certainly a community demand for this, but we made a commitment to the community and stakeholders that we would not cut safety corners in any way, and we would set this program up to be a model to Tennessee and the country on heritage trolley systems.”

MATA wants to stress to the public that the trolley cars will not be open for public use during this testing period. MATA says it could be another 30 to 90 days of testing, until starting service.

 


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