Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Restored Streetcars of Fort Smith, Arkansas

One of the most enjoyable historic sites in the South is actually one that moves. The Fort Smith Trolley Museum in Arkansas gives visitors to the historic city a chance to step back in time with a nostalgic ride on a 90-year-old electric streetcar.

For 50 years, streetcars provided transportation for the people of Fort Smith. The first three cars were mule drawn, but by 1890 they were replaced with electric streetcars. Initially platform cars that could make for a chilly ride during the winter, they initially were refined to become quite outstanding ways to travel.

The streetcars, often duplicated in style by modern trolleys seen in many cities, were powered by electricity and rolled along rails that once spread out into a web of more than 30 miles in and around downtown Fort Smith. They gave way to modern buses, however, and for nearly 60 years vanished from the landscape of the city.

Thanks to the hard work and efforts of volunteers and supporting individuals and businesses, however, a historic streetcar line has been brought back to life in Fort Smith. The beautiful old cars roll again along 1.5 miles of track in the historic frontier city.

To learn more, please visit

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