Streetcar 356 has to leave the Winnipeg Railway Museum by the fall as they will be receiving more rail equipment in the near future…
-We now have an NHL team again 🙂
-We have new Hotels
-We have a new airport
-We have a new Stadium under construction
-We have a new Central Park
-We have a HUGE Human Rights Museum underway costing $$$$$$
-We have a $10 million development for the Children’s Museum
-We have a Youth for Christ building at Main and Higgins worth about $4 or $5 million
-We have lots of new things happening in the city
All of these are worthwhile projects.. but…
How about some Streetcar lovin’ to get this restoration project moving?
A small fraction of the money spent on all these projects would get Streetcar 356 back into the history books as a valuable historical attraction to this city.
When the Streetcar has been restored to museum display condition, it will be a self sustaining attraction for events, weddings, meetings, school trips, and many other possibilities.
Families and kids love historic Streetcars, I have seen the market they attract in many active Streetcar operations.
We need a building, then we can restore and display the streetcar for all of Winnipeg to enjoy.
How about it? What’s out there? Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.
Thanks to everyone who came out, visited the 2nd Floor Railway Museum, came by our booth, and asked about Winnipeg Streetcars. We even sold (more) than a few Winnipeg Electric Company T- Shirts! Wear them proudly. If you would like to purchase a T-shirt, drop by or contact the Heritage Winnipeg office at 509-63 Albert Street, they are $20ea. Or order from a wider selection at the Cafe Press link. For cash donations, also contact Heritage Winnipeg, and a Tax Receipt will be issued.
It was a great time to learn about Winnipeg’s Streetcar History, and on Saturday we had a “37 year Transit” operator with us, Brian Derragh. If you can believe it, he was hired in 1954, drove Streetcars for 17 months, then switched to Trolley Buses, and then drove the Deisel Buses right up until 1992. He also had the honor (or we did!) of being named “Bus Operator of the Year” in 1988. Maybe you rode a bus with Brian as the driver? I learned Winnipeg had 120 miles of rail/streetcar lines at its peak, you had to be at least 25yrs old to be Streetcar Trolley driver due to insurance, and your starting wage was less than $2. Below is a picture of Brian in the conductors spot in 356. He says he might have even drove it! But there were a lot of Streetcars available to work on, and “you didn’t always pay attention to the number.”
Also thanks to the Manitoba Transit Heritage Association (MTHA) who came by with their 1937 Vintage Twin Coach “Winnipeg Electric Company” bus 111 (aka Winnipeg Transit). They parked outside the Via Rail Station Sunday afternoon to answer questions about Transit Heritage, and assist with the Streetcar display.
Also thanks to CBC Radio for their great coverage, the broadcast was repeated again on Sunday, and I believe you might read about “Streetcar 356” in the Free Press shortly. Maybe even tomorrow.
Before Winnipeg Transit, there was the “Winnipeg Electric Company” which provided Streetcar and Trolly Bus Transportation until 1955. The last remaining Streetcar is “356” and it is currently stored in the Winnipeg Railway Museum. The generation that rode the streetcars is now passing away, and we must act now to preserve and showcase the history of “Streetcar 356”, the first “LRT”
There is now a plan being put in place to restore the Streetcar to its place in Winnipeg transportation history by 2009. We need to raise 100k to complete the project. You can help by donating to Heritage Winnipeg, (yes, you can get a tax receipt) or purchasing a T-Shirt at www.cafepress.com/streetcar356. The 100th anniversary of Streetcar 356 is coming up for 2009!