A modern streetcar line in St. Louis could spur an estimated $540 million in development in its first five years of operation, and more than $2 billion over 20 years, according to a draft feasibility study paid for by the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.
A model trolley car whizzes by in a window display at the Blueberry Hill Restaurant during a ceremony to announce that the St. Louis area received nearly $25 million in federal dollars for a new trolley system in University City, Mo. on July 9, 2011.
There usually isn't much of a market for old streetcars, many of which were built in the 1920s. And the ones you can find are usually in pretty bad shape.
So when officials from the Loop Trolley project got a tip that five well-maintained cars were sitting in storage in Seattle, they headed west to investigate - and liked what they saw, said project manager Doug Campion.
"The fact that it's a full fleet, my goodness," Campion said. "This could be very good for us, very helpful."