Update from Tom

Hi everyone,

A couple of items to report:

  • During the past several weeks I’ve been discussing another issue with members of the City Council and during each meeting the councilmember brought up the Benson Trolleys and re-affirmed his/her support.  I believe this is the result of all the e-mails and letters they’ve received showing the broad public support for the vintage cars. Many thanks for your efforts.
  • On October 12th  I will be meeting with members of the Waterfront Park planning staff to discuss the study of alternative transportation modes on the waterfront.  As I reported earlier, the City will look at small rubber tired vehicles and streetcars.
  • On October 15th, Marshall Foster, the City’s Planning Director, and I will discuss plans for the new waterfront park and the possible use of the Benson Trolleys to the residents at Skyline at First Hill.
  • I’ve developed some data that shows that all five Benson Trolleys can be re-activated and put in service for less money than the cost of one modern streetcar!!  The re-activation work would include re-winding motors to operate at higher voltage, checking and modifying the cars’ braking system (if needed) and restoring the second door on each car to permit operation on a 2-track line.
  • Between now and early October I’ll be ‘investigating’ streetcars in Budapest, Vienna and Prague.

Regards to all,
Tom