Yakima Valley Trolleys resumes their full Selah run over Fourth of July weekend
YAKIMA, Wash.- After two years, a historic piece of Yakima’s heritage will resume its full route, which means it's all aboard beginning Saturday morning at 10 a.m. As the Yakima Trolley begins its first interurban service to Selah.
The Yakima Trolley brings a bit of history back to life.
"Yakima trolleys has been an interurban trolley running continuously since 1907," said Larry Fournier, a motorman for the Yakima Trolleys.
It's a nostalgic look back at simpler times.
"Well I grew up riding trolleys. I use to drop four cents in the trolley fare box in 1947, 48, 49 and ride the trolley,” said Fournier.
Over the past two years, the trolley has been at a crossroads, only running the eight-block stretch along Pine street in Yakima.
The limited route came after overhead copper wire was stolen and multiple rock slides in 2016 covered up the Selah tracks.
"To get funding sources to maintain the historical cars, maintain the line, maintain the track... It's an expensive endeavor," said Sean Hawkins, economic development manager for the city of Yakima.
With total repairs estimated at $8 million dollars and with no dedicated federal funding for restoration of historic lines, like the Yakima Trolleys, an alternative was needed.
“So we've had to come up with a power car that generates the power we need to run and that's what we'll run on until we can get the overhead wire back up with an alarm system," said Fournier.
The power cars being a much cheaper option and cleanup of the tracks costing only $10,000 and funded by the Capital Heritage Grant.
A small price to pay for such a unique experience.
"It's a much longer experience and the scenery going across the Naches River and through the Selah Gap there are historical sites in the gap that you can see it's just a much longer and actually quite smoother ride,” said Fournier.
A proud and historic piece of our valley.
"It is a labor of love. It's part of our history so we want to keep it alive and we do what we can with the resources,” said Hawkins.
Perhaps none more valuable than the trolley volunteers themselves.
"I'm a rail fan and a trolley buff," said Fournier.
Offering a round-trip ticket through Yakima’s past.
If you want to participate in all the fun, Yakima Trolley rides begin on Saturday morning at 3rd Avenue and Pine at the Yakima Valley Trolley Museum. Rides start at 10 a.m. and tickets are just $10 for adults and $6 for kiddos and seniors. The rides will continue all the way through the Fourth of July weekend. Trolleys will run every two hours till 2 p.m. each day and if enough people show up an additional run will take off at 4 p.m.
You can find additional information here.