Update from Friends of the Benson Trolleys

At last! Our non-profit, Friends of the Benson Trolleys, will start our initial fund raiser Thursday, Feb. 1.

Our goal is to raise about $50K to pay for an analysis of the work necessary to permit the vintage cars to operate on the city’s Center City Connector and the South Lake Union lines. Modifications such as reducing the incoming voltage, installing doors on both sides of the cars, modifying the braking systems and, perhaps installing batteries will be evaluated and costed. Our contractor for the analysis – Historic Railway Restoration, Inc. – is local and very well respected for this kind of work.

A link to our fund raising video is provided below. Also, our web page can be accessed by going to – www.friendsofthebensontrolleys.org.

A couple of updates from my last communication – First, as you will see in the video, the cars are stored in an excellent warehouse in, of all places, Anacortes. As I mentioned before, all suitable local warehouses are being used to grow pot. Vince and Tom Mendenhall of Historic Railway Restoration, Inc. found the Anacortes facility and are owed a huge debt of gratitude. Metro Transit paid to move the cars and SDOT is paying the storage costs. Many more thanks are due these organizations.

Second, we have obtained approval from the IRS for our own 501(c)(3) charitable organization – The Friends of The Benson Trolleys. Our legal counsel, Rachel Schaefer, from Riddell Williams has done a wonderful job for us in obtaining the IRS designation as well as registration with the Washington Secretary of State as a non-profit. She has done all of this work on a pro-bono basis. We thank Stan Orr for introducing us to Rachel.

All this would not have been possible without your long-term commitment to preserve the Benson Streetcars and the fine work you did in creating the Save Out Streetcars (Again) web site. All historic streetcar buffs thank you. I hope you can send our fund raising video to the 1000+ folks who signed your petition.

All my best,

Tom