All aboard! Residents and visitors to the island will soon be able to ride the charming historic rail trolleys in historic downtown Galveston.
The City of Galveston is excited to announce the return of the Galveston Island Trolley service on weekends beginning October 1. This will be the first trolley rail service since they were flooded during Hurricane Ike in 2008. Three of the four historic trolleys have been beautifully restored and have completed testing for the state and federal certification needed before resuming service to the public.
"We've been looking forward to the return of the beloved trolleys since they were damaged in Hurricane Ike and are thrilled the public will soon be able to ride them once again," Mayor Craig Brown said. "There is no better way to see the historic architecture of downtown Galveston and visit the restaurants and shops than by streetcar."
“The trolley restoration project has been a long time in the works and we’re ready to have the public enjoying them again,” City Manager Brian Maxwell said. “We’d like to thank all of our partners who worked with us to bring back the trolleys, including TXDOT and the Federal Transportation Agency.”
Beginning Friday, October 1, three trolleys will be running the entire route of the line, which connects downtown and the Seawall along 25th Street. The Galveston Island Trolley is a fun and unique way to see historic downtown Galveston. For the first weekend of October, the trolleys will be free to ride. After that, the fare will be $1 per person with the trolleys operating. For now, the trolleys will operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Galveston is one of a handful of U.S. cities to have a vintage trolley system,” Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody said. “The Park Board and the CVB are committed to help support this important part of our history along with the many unique defining elements that make Galveston an amazing place to live and visit.”
The City of Galveston is celebrating the return of the trolleys with a special event on Friday, October 1, beginning at 9 a.m. on Postoffice between 22nd and 23rd Street. The public is invited to join and tour a trolley.
Many residents and visitors are unaccustomed to sharing the road with streetcars. Please stay alert when walking or driving in the trolley area and follow these safety precautions:
While the trolleys are operating, motorists and pedestrians must be vigilant and obey all safety measures along the route.
PEDESTERIAN TROLLEY SAFETY
· Never cross or run in front of an approaching trolley or between two stopped vehicles.
· Never chase the trolleys.
· Wait until traffic stops and look both ways before crossing.
· Pay attention to the surrounding environment. Trolleys are quiet and cannot stop as quickly as a car.
· Avoid walking or riding bikes along the trolley tracks.
DRIVING NEAR TROLLEYS
· Follow the trolley at a safe distance and be prepared to stop.
· Streetcars are not able to stop as quickly as vehicles — slow down and use turn signals before making a left or right turn.
· Check for an approaching streetcar before opening vehicle doors.
· Do not make a turn from the adjacent lane or center lane in front of the trolley.
· Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
· Never stop your vehicle on the tracks.
PARKING IN TROLLEY LANE
· Be sure to park within the line in trolley track areas to avoid having your vehicle sideswiped by a trolley.
· Stay alert! When exiting your vehicle, check before opening the door.