Saturday, May 19, 2007

Electric Light Rail May Be Coming To St. Charles

Photos & Story by Tony Brockmeyer

New Town At St. Charles Acquires 11 Streetcars

The streetcars pictured above are from a group of eleven which were recently acquired by Greg Whittaker, the developer of New Town at St. Charles and The Plaza at Noah’s Ark. Trucked in on flat beds from Lake Tahoe California it is planned that the vehicles will be refurbished to a like new condition and used throughout New Town. Possible uses include an old-fashioned diner, café, sushi bar or bookstore.

A trolley transportation committee was approved by the previous city council and a study is being conducted on the feasibility of using some of the cars on rails from New Town, to Main Street in downtown St. Charles, to the Casino, the Plaza at Noah’s Ark and then to the St. Charles Convention Center. Maybe to the hospital and Lindenwood University.

Originally built in St. Louis between 1937 and 1946 the streetcars were used daily in St. Louis for 20 years. Their next 20 years were spent in San Francisco where they worked until they were finally retired in 1982.

According to Tim Busse, the New Town architect, this has been a dream of Greg Whittaker who he described as not only a dreamer but a doer.