The burgundy cars, with brass fittings, wicker seats and oak interiors, are replicas of the Council Crest street car that ran in Portland until 1950.
Built by Gomaco Trolley Co. in Ida Grove, Iowa, the cars ride on wheels and motors from old Chicago street cars.
“Basically, this technology is all more than 100 years old,” [Bill] Naito [president of Vintage Trolley Inc., the non-profit corporation formed to operate the service] said. “Steel wheels, steel rails, direct electric current and overhead wires.”
Four cars ran daily during the 1991 holiday season.
The new Portland Vintage Trolley service followed a decade of planning and two years of construction. The trolley traveled a 2.3 mile route on the existing light rail line between downtown and Lloyd Center.
The vintage trolley is still running today, offering free rides every 30 minutes from roughly 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, July 3, September 4, November 27, December 4, 11 and 18, stopping at all MAX stations on 5th and 6th avenues between Union Station and PSU.