Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back on Track

On Monday, I attempted without success to hop aboard Edmonton's High Level Bridge Trolley. Yesterday I knew where to board and enjoyed a short trolley journey from downtown to Old Strathcona, my favourite part of the city.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Osaka No. 247 services the route, a wheelchair-accessible trolley that, as noted above, hails originally from Japan. I'll have to go again on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday to ride the Edmonton Radial Railways Society's newly-restored 1912 trolley.
The trolley quickly filled up with lunch-hour sightseers and tourists. Note the stylish disco ball hanging from the ceiling!
I barely restrained myself from pushing this button. Do any of my readers read Japanese?
Sadly, passengers hand over their change to the conductor rather than depositing it in this very cool fare box.
There were just enough seats for everyone, so no one had to use the overhead handholds. I doubt the same was true in more densely-populated Osaka.
According to our interpreter, Edmonton's High Level Bridge Trolley is the highest trolley in the world, 48 metres above the river.
Tunnels are inherently fun, especially when the conductor signals with a "WHOO-WHOO!" that the train is coming through.
Here's a look at the controls. I'll bet it would be a blast to drive (pilot?) one of these.
The trolley arrives in Old Strathcona. Just a few steps took me to Whyte Avenue, where I enjoyed a working lunch. Sadly, I didn't have time to stop at the Wee Book Inn.
Old Strathcona is hopping right now as workers prepare for the Fringe. This year there are even "green" carnival rides fuelled by vegetable oil.
Admiring the view. It's nice to travel with open windows at moderate speeds...sometimes I wish I'd been around in the days of stagecoaches, when cross-country trips took months.
The train graciously stopped just north of the High Level Bridge, allowing passengers to cross the street to the Alberta Legislature. The conductor offered a jaunty wave as the train departed.

I'm grateful that the volunteers of the Edmonton Radial Railway Society have poured so much time and effort into keeping this historic, educational and fun service operating. I encourage all Edmontonians and visitors to thank these volunteers by taking a trolley trip sometime this summer!

3 comments:

Tammy said...

Those are great pictures of the Trolley. That seems like a fun thing to do, although I think would be a bit scary over the high level (I am scared of heights). The button with the Japanese writing makes me think of the "button" in the show Lost.

Earl J. Woods said...

I hope someone is pressing it every 108 minutes, then!

Steve said...

These still run in Osaka. I rode in the exact same trolley car in Osaka in December of 2011. And it sure did fill up with shoppers on Saturday afternoon. Very cool that Edmonton got them too!