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Restored 1946 trolley makes public debut

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SAN DIEGO – A restored 68-year-old streetcar that will run on a loop around downtown San Diego was unveiled Monday by the Metropolitan Transit System.

It’s the second vintage trolley car that will operate on the 2.7-mile-long Silver Line, which hits many of the key downtown attractions.

The beige, green and red car has lettering that touts the Balboa Park centennial, and will be used for a pilot program to educate third-graders about San Diego’s past and present.

“The addition of Centennial Car No. 530 means MTS can offer more reliable service on the Silver Line so passengers can enjoy a piece of San Diego’s streetcar history,” said MTS Board Chairman Harry Mathis.

trolley“This is a fantastic partnership between MTS, [San Diego Gas & Electric] and the San Diego Unified School District to educate the public about San Diego’s extraordinary past and allowing it to be part of our future,” Mathis said.

The MTS traded two trolley cars that were phased out of its fleet for the vintage car. Extensive restoration was covered, in part, by an SDG&E grant.

A second grant from the utility will pay for a program in which third-graders from throughout the San Diego Unified School District will be invited to ride the two vintage trolley cars and look at historical photographs displayed inside the vehicles.

The Silver Line downtown loop takes 25 minutes to go around and runs every half-hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekends.

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