Following authorization recently received from the Federal Transit Administration, an important phase of the Loop Trolley’s start-up activities is set to commence immediately. Beginning Monday, November 20th and continuing through mid-January, trolley vehicles will be in active use along the full 2.2 mile trolley alignment – from Delmar/Kingsland in University City to the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis’ Forest Park – for purposes of System Integrated Testing (SIT).
“It’s an incredibly exciting step for the project, in many different ways” said Kevin Barbeau, Executive Director for the Loop Trolley Company. “In addition to certifying the system’s safety, it’s our chance to begin showing off these beautifully-restored trolley vehicles on a consistent basis.
“Just seeing them out on the street under their own power, pulling into Forest Park or moving along Delmar, really will drive home the benefits and potential of the entire project.”
With construction complete and individual system elements now tested and accepted, the SIT phase will assess the Loop Trolley system as a whole, with special attention paid to powered interface with platforms, signaled intersections, switch points and safety mechanisms. SIT activities will primarily occur in early morning hours, due to the stop-and-inspect nature of many of the tests, with some mid-morning and daytime runs expected.
Over the past two months, powered movement has been limited to the “protected portion” of the alignment on Delmar between DeBaliviere Ave. and the historic Wabash Station at Delmar/Des Peres, and on DeBaliviere between Delmar and Forest Park Parkway, wherein the first class of Loop Trolley Operators have amassed approximately 40 hours of on-vehicle training. With access granted to the full alignment via FTA approval, additional certification will occur concurrently with SIT. A second Operator class begins training after the new year.
For SIT, Training and Passenger Service, the trolleys will share the road with personal vehicles in the portion of the alignment west of the Des Peres Bridge on Delmar, and regularly interact with vehicles at intersections and driveways east of the Des Peres Bridge on Delmar, and on DeBaliviere. As the trolleys cannot veer to avoid obstacles, it is important that any vehicle parked on the street-running portion park against the curb, and that the vehicle be completely inside of the striped parking lane.
The Loop Trolley is a 2.2-mile, fixed-route, electrically powered, heritage trolley that will provide a memorable way to experience some of the best St. Louis has to offer. With all major construction completed along the trolley route in St. Louis and University City and vehicle testing underway, the Loop Trolley will link St. Louis City and County in an exciting new way. The trolley will run through the Delmar Loop along Delmar Blvd. and continue on DeBaliviere Ave., connecting people and neighborhoods, the past and the present. From restaurants and shopping to entertainment, recreation and the arts, riders can take in the multitude of things to do along the route as they enjoy both the country’s “#1 City Park” and “One of the 10 Great Streets in America.”