Capdiamont\’s Weblog

Petaluma 360:Little engine that could
Wednesday 20 Feb 2008, 11:45
Filed under: Railroad, SMART | Tags: , , ,

What was that little yellow railroad cart making its way down Water Street a couple of Tuesdays ago?It was an old-fashioned speeder car operated by Petaluma Trolley, the local group trying to bring trolley service back to downtown Petaluma.

A few trolley supporters got the OK from the SMART rail district to run the speeder up and down the tracks as part of a maintenance project — picking up abandoned junk, clearing overgrown brush and picking out dirt that got packed up against the rails.

The speeder towed a couple of work trailers as it made its way down Water Street North, across Washington and as far as the closed-off Water Street trestle, said Mike Manson, who documented the journey in more than 250 photos.

But they weren’t done yet — a truck moved the little engine to the Petaluma Yacht Club, and it proceeded down First Street as far as Foundry Wharf. The excursion also went as far north as the rail crossing over the river, north of the Oak Creek Apartments.

The entire journey covered the still-accessible segments of the old Petaluma & Santa Rosa Electric Railroad, which has been silent for decades.

Passersby, including a lot of families with kids, got a kick out of the whole thing, Manson said — especially when they rang the speeder’s bell.

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