Road construction on Washington Street in downtown Phoenix has revealed old streetcar rails. This track will be cut in section and eventually be on display at the musuem. 

Excavation on Washington

Reveals
1928 Rails

The rails on Washington Street, which continue to at least to 16th Avenue (and possibly thence north to Adams, thence west to 23rd Avenue, although I cannot say for sure about the portion west of 16th Ave.) were all new as of the 1928 reconstruction by the City
of Phoenix.
 

A brief timeline:

 

Rehabilitation of the municipal street railway system is progressing rapidly and substantial progress has already been made on many of the lines comprising the system. New track has been laid on parts of East and West Washington street, the Grand avenue line, Kenilworth line and Indian School line. 

New track has been laid on the south side of Washington street between Seventh street and Tenth street, and from Seventh avenue to Sixteenth avenue. The work of laying new track on the Grand avenue line, from Washington street to Ninth avenue, is nearly completed.  This portion of the line, like the new track laid on Washington street, will be placed in concrete. Steel ties are being used and the lengths of rail are being welded into one continuous rail. Engineers in charge state that since the work is being done during the warmest season of the year, no trouble will be experienced later from expansion. 

Washington street line has been laid between Seventh and Sixteenth streets, and from Seventh to Seven tenth avenues, those sections will be paved between the tracks.

After the north side of the Washington street line has been laid between Seventh and Sixteenth streets, and from Seventh to Seven tenth avenues, those sections will be paved between the tracks. Immediately afterwards, new track will be laid from Seventh street to Seventh avenue, and the same district paved. This will do away with the rough and unsightly street crossings now in use, and place the street in first class condition.

Steel overhead poles, manufactured from old rails taken up, have been placed in position along the portions of Washington street, Seventh avenue, Grand avenue and Third street, on which new rail has been placed. A new overhead system will be installed as soon as the necessary copper wire has been received by the contractors.

  • 15 August 1928: Construction of final section between 7th Street and 7th Avenue begins, with steel ties and concrete bed.

  • 23 December 1928: City Commission Pays $123,804 on Street Cars. "Five of the new street cars are scheduled to arrive here this morning in complete assembled form." (presumably #'s 100, 102, 104, 106, 108).

  • 25 December 1928: First run of new streetcars, with Phoenix Mayor Louis P. Whitney aboard. See Ride A Mile page 107.

 

Those tracks are intimately tied with our three streetcars.  I hope Valley Metro will follow up on getting as much of the historic pieces as can be reasonably removed to the Museum.

In particular, and with reference to the rolled-up blueprints in the large beige lateral file cabinet, city blueprint set marked M27-54,

  • Page 3 shows a passing track, with two turnouts, between 18th and 19th Ave in Adams St.

  • Page 3 also shows (at right of page), turnout at end of double-track just east of 17th Ave in middle of Washington

  • Page 5 shows just east of 7th Ave the turnout heading north on 7th Avenue (to the Kenilworth Line), and two turnouts as crossover halfway between 6th and 7th Avenues

  • Same page: At 2nd Avenue, turnout on north track headed north for Monroe loop.

  • Up to seven turnouts may exist under the asphalt on the West Washington line.  At the very least, I hope Valley Metro would consent to carefully remove those and the track adjacent to them should for possible later use in an historic streetcar line.  Also whatever straight track as may reasonably be removed in condition suitable for reuse, if any.  

  • Also y'all might consider having the Historic folks come out to look for artifacts (1920s bottle caps? or who knows what might lie under the concrete, there could be items back to the 1887 and circa
    1900-1910 rebuildings buried down there.  

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Immediately afterwards, new track will be laid from Seventh street to Seventh avenue, and the same district paved. This will do away with the rough and unsightly street crossings now in use, and place the street in first class condition.

By William Lindley

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Historic

Phoenix

Streetcar Resurfaces

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The symbol of the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes has been quite vivid as wildfires char the West Coast. 

No one knows whether the towns will rise again or if the forests will return. Even years later, sometimes there are surprises.

That was recently the case with a missing Phoenix streetcar thought to be in a trolley car barn fire in 1947. 

The Phoenix Trolley Museum received a remarkable tip. Mike Bystrom of Restaurant Equipment Hunter explained that he had Streetcar No. 509. And, he wanted to know if the museum was interested in it.

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New Trolley Exhibit installed in the Arizona Capitol Museum

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Learn More about the exhibit in our new publication "The Trolley Quarterly"

We have been working with two venerable museums in the Phoenix, the Heard Museum and the Arizona Capitol Museum to create an exhibit telling the story of what mass transit looked like in the early years of Phoenix. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a large map of the Trolley System showing details of how far the system extended and on what streets the citizens of Phoenix could catch a ride. 

 

The exhibit is housed on the forth floor Senate Chambers Gallery of the Territorial Arizona Capitol Museum at 17th Avenue and Adams, Phoenix. Stop by and learn a bit of history as you explore the story of the Phoenix Trolley that first ran in 1887.

Sound Art

performs at
 First-Friday

event

We want to thank Sound Art for partcipating in last springs First Fridays Events

Photos: by SoundArt

 

Experience more of their work at :

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Sound Art with Jimmy Peggie performed at many of Phoenix Trolley Museum's First Friday event on Grand Ave. The "experimental" music was a big hit art goers as they visited or strolled by the museum from one gallery to another. The nonprofit Sound Art is not really about music per se, but about sound as art in and of itself. Malodic, mystic sounds wafted through the neighborhood, catching the attention of young and old alike. Be sure and visit their website to learn more about  this unique form of "Art".

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