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ART construction finds old ABQ trolley system

Joy Wang
April 17, 2017 07:09 AM

Many business owners and drivers will agree, ART construction has been a little frustrating. But as workers dug up Central Avenue last week, they stumbled upon something historic – the pieces from Albuquerque's original trolley system that shut down in 1927.

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“In 1881 the old Albuquerque street car would take you from old town to new town and it was a trolley pulled by a horse,” explained Michael Silva. “It was 10 cents to take the ride, and I guess when they were doing some of the construction here in the city, the ART project, they found some of the old tracks which is pretty exciting.”

What they found were pieces of metal believed to be from the original trolley system.

“It was horse drawn initially and then it transferred to electric trolleys,” said Silva. “Eventually with the automobile and the roads, it kind of killed the trolley altogether.”

But surprisingly that piece of the past was preserved, wrapped in concrete surrounded by rubble.

Even though the new trolley has an engine, a steering wheel, and is used for tours instead of getting to and from work, look closely and you'll see hints of history.

“We mimicked the church in Old Town and its scroll work,” said Silva. “We had the blue put on because the Hispanic folklore says the blue wards off evil spirits, so we have the uniquely Albuquerque stucco covered trolley.”

Ready to go up and down Route 66 just like the old one used to.

The pieces of the old trolley are being donated to the Albuquerque Museum.

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Joy Wang

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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