WXXI Local Stories
Fri September 5, 2003
Support For Scenic Trolley
By Bud Lowell
Rochester, New York – Promoters of a scenic trolley line from Charlotte to downtown Rochester say their first market research shows that if they build it, people will ride.
The Rochester Trolley and Rail Corporation was founded earlier this year for the purpose of bringing old-fashioned electric streetcars back to the city for recreational and tourist purposes.
Andy Vaughan says the company did concept testing on the idea of a trolley running from Charlotte harbor, over the old Hojack Swing Bridge, through Seneca Park and south to the High Falls Entertainment District...
Vaughan says Rochester Trolley will use this data to convince investors and government officials to back their concept.
They hope to run either historic or modern-day recreations of old trolley cars in a service that would link the new Fast Ferry terminal with local attractions including Seabreeze Park and Frontier Field.
The trolley would run on the old railroad roadbed that once carried coal from Charlotte to Rochester Gas and Electric's Beebee Station at the High Falls.
To do that, Vaughan says they need to save the Hojack Swing Bridge over the Genesee River which is slated to be removed as a navigational hazard.
He says it will cost about one to one-and-a-half million dollars per mile to relay the track and put up poles and overhead wire to power the trolleys. Each streetcar would cost about a million dollars if built new, or less for a rebuilt antique car.
Vaughan says he and his partner plan to use this information to build community support for their idea. He says they next step is detailed study of what the trolley line would really cost, and whether it would be economically justified.