TDI -- Reporter's Blog

Feb. 22, 2010 at 2:55pm

Tacoma Streetcar Field Trip

The news today that a citizens initiative was filed last week in an effort to build a streetcar line in Tacoma reminded me of a trip I took a couple years ago to Snohomish County. According to friend and historic preservation advocate Morgan Alexander, a 100-year-old streetcar that once operated in Tacoma was sitting in an open field in Rockport, Wash. A father-and-son restoration team owned the car and was hoping the city would be interested in restoring it. Someone should go check it out.

I finally got around to calling Tom (father) and Vince (son) Mendenhall of Historic Railway Restoration to ask about the streetcar. They agreed to meet me at their office in Arlington, then escort me out to the wide open, 40-acre field in Rockport where the 1908 Turtleback streetcar sat among the 'corpses' of other old streetcars.

I wrote a long feature on the experience for the Tacoma Daily Index. To read it, click here.

I also took many photos. Here are a few. Enjoy!

Tom and Vince Mendenhall, father-and-son owners of Arlington, Wash.-based Historic Railway Restoration, inside a 1908 Turtleback streetcar they say once operated on Tacoma streets.

The streetcar has seen better days. But the Mendenhalls say it can be restored.

comments [4]  |  posted under Streetcar, Tacoma


by Erik on 2/22/2010 @ 3:31pm
Great article.

I believe the Streetcar initiative has a provision for restoring streetcars as well.

by Nick on 2/23/2010 @ 5:13pm
Way cool! Fully restored, I imagine that would be a beautiful machine.

by Chris.Tacoma on 2/23/2010 @ 9:35pm
This was some really great work, Todd. Thanks a lot for doing this. We'll see to it that these old pieces of our history get restored and brought back into service.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/23/2010 @ 9:50pm

Just remember, the Luzon was in way better shape than this streetcar yet the Luzon got torn down.

Don't hold your breath on this one.


A blog following news and features published in the Tacoma Daily Index newspaper.


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