First Ever Trolley Goes Back into Service

Breakdancing was provided by Cypher State

Way back on Sunday, July 26, 1981 the San Diego Trolley hit the rails of the South Line (now called the UC San Diego Blue Line) for the first time. On that day, approximately 15,000 people lined up to take a ride from Santa Fe Depot to the San Ysidro border crossing. These days, the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley carries 25,000 people on an average Sunday!

More recently, MTS staff painstakingly restored the very first Trolley – car 1001—and that car has returned to service on the Silver Line along the similarly restored PCC Streetcars. To kick off the 1001 car’s triumphant return, we threw a little #ThrowbackThursday gathering at 12th and Imperial including a breakdance performance and some limited-edition fanny packs to commemorate the occasion.

Fun Facts about the Original Trolleys

  • In its original run of service from 1981-2015, the 1001 car logged over 2 million miles and carried over 9 million passengers.
  • There were 71 original Siemens U2 Trolley cars. Today, 18 of those are used every day in Mendoza Argentina.
  • Our last remaining car  – 1050—will be headed to the Karl Strauss Brewery. Did you know that Red Trolley Ale was named after these iconic cars?


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