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Hop aboard the new trolley

Originally planned free rides have been postponed


The Willamette Shore Trolley is back on track.

To celebrate, the public can take free rides on the vintage trolley car from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4, 5 and 6. It’s anticipated to run every 30 to 45 minutes depending on demand.

Editor's note: Unfortunately, because of mechanical problems, the free rides mentioned above have been postponed. A new date will be announced later.

Regular fare-based service will resume July 11, ending a several-year hiatus of service on the line, which runs north from Lake Oswego along the Willamette River.by: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The Willamette Shore Trolley sits on the rails soon after it arrived in Lake Oswego in the spring. After a long hiatus, service is set to return next week.

The riverside trolley service between Lake Oswego and Portland sputtered to a stop a few years ago, when the old antique car broke down. The city’s new replica car was leased for free from Vintage Trolley Inc. in Portland. It’s a historical reproduction of the Council Crest streetcars that ran in Portland a century ago.

Members of the nonprofit Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society operate the trolley, which runs on a line overseen by a government consortium including the cities of Lake Oswego and Portland, Metro, Clackamas County, TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The consortium bought the Willamette Shore Line right of way in the 1980s in hopes of preserving the historical rail line for a future mass-transit route, and its members pay dues to cover the cost of maintenance and operations.

According to a city agreement, the trolley will typically run Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from early afternoon to 4 p.m. Round-trip fare is $5 for adults, $3 for children and free for toddlers age 2 and younger. Charter excursions can be booked for $150.

While it used to run six miles through wooded and park-like settings, over trestles, through a tunnel and past stately mansions before arriving in Portland, the trolley will travel a shorter route for the time being.

Eventually, after the new Sellwood Bridge is complete and tracks in that area are repaired, the trolley will likely again run all the way to Bancroft Street in Portland.

For now, passengers will ride to the Dunthorpe area before heading back to the trolley depot at 311 N. State St., just off Foothills Road in Lake Oswego.

For more information about the trolley, visit oerhs.org/wst. The trolley phone number is 503-697-7436.by: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Rod Cox, general manager of the Willamette Shore Trolley, stands by the new replica car near Lake Oswego trolley depot in the spring.