Although many commuters will disagree with the value of the trolley, as it always takes precedence over other traffic, there is no disagreement that the trolley is one of the most romanticised modes of city transportation. Every city that has a trolley system has that strange, old-time vibe.
Aurora was once one of those cities, as the trolley system connected its sparse inhabitants with the slightly larger Denver. Now Aurora is trying again to reinforce the trolley system, connecting the residents within Aurora and with the neighboring Denver.
In the 19th century, many administrations of cities across the United States implemented some sort of public transport system, including trolleys, which were at that time pulled by horses.
Citizens of Fletcher, the name Aurora had at the time, also established public transportation as streetcars that connected the residents with Denver. In 1891, developers from Fletcher bought the Colfax Electric Railway, which was struggling and gave the developers a good deal. Although the amount of traffic grew every year, it was still not enough to make the company profitable, and so it was bought by Denver Transit in 1893.
In the years to come, as Aurora grew, the size of public transportation needed to grow as well. By the beginning of the 20th century, the trolleys were produced by Woeber Company. At that time, there were no numbers on the trolleys, but there was a sign on the first window of where the line was going. By 1916 the number system was introduced and new lines were established.
As cars became more frequent, the trolley system became less and less profitable and thus less common, only now, with new technology, is Aurora planning to restore the old lines, giving Aurora the light railway system, similar to the one it had as the beginning of the last century.
Trailer No. 601
One of the most interesting stories comes from one car in particular: Trailer No. 601.
As the need for trolleys declined in the 50s, the Denver Tramway Company sold off many the Woeber Company trolleys for the price of 50 dollars. Three of those carts were bought by Dr. Edwin Perrott, who transferred the Trailer No.601 to his farm, where he modified it to be his master bedroom. He maintained the trailer and left on all of its original features. The trailer was rediscovered in 2006 when Dr. Perrott’s son called the police for trespassing. When the officer saw the trailer, he quickly contacted the museum. A deal was made and the Aurora History Museum aquired the trolley. It is in the museum today!
The Future: The Lightrail
As Aurora is ever growing, so are its needs for public transport, and as the city is focused on creating an innovative and modern solution, the trolley system became an obvious choice. With cooperation from the regional FasTracks Initiative, there is a good chance that the future of Aurora will be as charming, or even more, that the past ever was, but also very modern and very green. We hope to have an easier way for patients and their owners to make it to Parkside Animal Health Center– perhaps we will see some patients travel by trolley! We have even heard of some cities using a solar energy trolley! Amazing!