Old Pueblo Trolley, Inc., History
Electric streetcars began operating in Tucson on June 1, 1906, as a replacement for horse-and-mule-drawn streetcars and for the next 24 years they transported Tucsonans through bustling shopping and residential areas. By 1930, urban growth expanded beyond the University of Arizona and outpaced the ability of streetcars to provide adequate service, so at midnight, December 31, 1930, rail streetcar operation in Tucson ended for good...at least until Old Pueblo Trolley came along.
As part of the 1985 University of Arizona Centennial celebration, a group was founded in early 1983 to bring back the trolley. The dedicated efforts of this small group of people evolved into Old Pueblo Trolley, a nonprofit operating transit museum dedicated to education and the preservation of public transportation history in Tucson and Arizona.
Old Pueblo Trolley's main focus has been the operation of historic trolleys from the Fourth Avenue Business District to the main gate of the University of Arizona on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays.
These days, OPT does much more than run streetcars. We also collect, restore and maintain historic streetcars and buses, train our volunteer conductors and motormen, publish and display historical research, and support efforts to expand public transportation.
The Southern Arizona Transportation Museum opened as a division of OPT March 20, 2005. This addition to OPT's museum offerings provides visitors with a look at railroading in southern Arizona and the impact on Tucson. Also at the museum is Locomotive 1673, a fine mogul M-4 class locomotive. The museum hosts groups of all ages, from the young children to the senior citizens.
It's the work of volunteers and the financial support of members that make all this happen. To find out how you can volunteer, please read about the opportunities we offer -- we need volunteers of all types. If you can help us financially, please join us as a member and see how your membership contributes to our education and preservation efforts.