Yakima Valley Trolleys Work to Keep Rolling [VIDEO, PHOTOS]
When was the last time you took a ride on a Yakima Valley Trolley? Officials say progress is being made on Yakima' s vintage (1907) trolley system, but they need city support.
Yakima Valley Trolleys are an important part of the early development of the valley's fruit industry -- in fact the system's working 50-ton electric locomotive once hauled fruit in iced-down boxcars from Selah, Yakima, Wiley City, Growmore, etc., to trains for distribution across the country. That was a major advancement, because it freed growers from the horse-and-wagon form of hauling perishable products to market.
But the system is getting older by the day, and volunteers are doing their best to keep it running. Lacking funding to restore stolen overhead wire in the Selah Gap, volunteers have repaired a power car, which enables the trolley to continue traveling in areas without wiring.
And during the winter, Yakima Valley Trolleys encountered another challenge to its operation on the Selah line: a rock slide covered the tracks near the approach to Selah and funding is needed for a geologist to assess the stability of the area before the boulders are removed from the trolley tracks.
In the meantime, Yakima Valley Trolleys adapts and continues to operate much of its most enjoyable Selah Gap route. The route departs at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through the summer. Rides leave the powerhouse at South Third Avenue and West Pine Street, travel through Yakima on Sixth Avenue, cross over its 103-year-old inspected bridge and along the Yakima River through the Selah Gap. The ride now stops at the rock slide and returns on the same route.
Selah Gap tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. One-hour charter trolleys are available anytime for groups, children's birthday parties, or other special occasions for $150. Trolleys have 32 seats.
As a nonprofit corporation, the trolley system appreciates any donations or volunteerism. This is a part of our heritage that should be preserved. Call 949-4233 for more information.