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The MATA Trolley is a heritage streetcar system operating in Memphismarker in the U.S.marker state of Tennesseemarker. It has operated since April 29, 1993.

As of 2008, the system consists of three lines: the Main Street Trolley, the Madison Avenue Loop and the Riverfront Loop. These lines are operated by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), and were put into operation over fifty years after Memphis’ original streetcar network was dismantled in the 1940s.


Originally proposed as a 4.9 mile line stretching along the Mississippi River, in January 1990 the Memphis City Council voted 9-4 to build the , $33 million Main Street route. After multiple delays, construction of the line would commence in February 1991 and be complete by December 1992. However, due to the restoration of the cars taking longer than anticipated, the opening of the line would be pushed back to Spring 1993. After further delay, testing of the first of the restored cars began on March 10, 1993, and the system opened to the public on April 29.

In 1997, a new line along the Riverfront opened. The system's third line, running east from Main Street along Madison Avenue for about 2 miles, opened on March 15, 2004. It was completed at a cost of about $56 million, which was about 25 percent below the original budget forecast for the project.

Rolling stock

The trolleys used are almost all rehabilitated, vintage streetcars. The original three cars in operation on opening day were all formerly used in Porto, Portugalmarker, and are Car 187, circa 1927; Car 194, circa 1935; and Car 204, circa 1940. These cars are each long,
 wide and weigh   without passengers. The cars were restored by Kerns-Wilcheck Associates of Memphis. Three additional ex-Porto cars  (156, 164 and 180) joined them within weeks, and the fleet had six cars (all ex-Porto single-truckers) by May 1993.

Between the mid-1990s and 2003, the Gomaco Trolley Company supplied an additional ten cars: nine reconditioned Melbournemarker, Australia type W2 cars and one single-truck car (No. 1979) that was built new by Gomaco in 1993, originally as a demonstrator. There is also car 1794, which was originally an open-sided car from Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker, but was heavily rebuilt and enclosed before entering service in Memphis. The most recent addition, in early 2004, is a replica Birney Safety Car, manufactured by Gomaco, the same cars used on the TECO Line Streetcar System in Tampa, Florida.


The MATA Trolley network consists of 24 stations along its three lines.

Main Street Line

  • Butler Avenue
  • Huling Avenue
  • Linden Avenue
  • Beale Street
  • Peabody Place
  • Union Avenue
  • Madison Avenue
  • Court Avenue
  • Jefferson Avenue
  • Civic Center Plaza
  • Convention Center
  • Overton Avenue

Madison Avenue Line

  • Fourth Street
  • Danny Thomas Boulevard
  • Orleans Street
  • Dunlap Street
  • Pauline Street
  • Cleveland Street

Riverfront Loop

  • Pyramid (Auction Avenue)
  • Jefferson Avenue
  • Union Avenue
  • Beale Street Landing
  • Huling Avenue
  • Central Station

See also


External links

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