Streetcars first popped up in El Paso in the late 1800s, and now, after a nearly 45-year absence, they soon will be coming back. Wochit
The excitement is building as the first of six streetcars makes its way home with a brand-new makeover.
Streetcar No. 1506 is traveling nearly 2,000 miles from Brookville, Pa., to El Paso and is expected to be in the Sun City by Monday.
You can track the streetcar’s trek on social media thanks to the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, the city of El Paso and the Transnational Trolley Project.
Check out the latest from them below, and take a stroll down El Paso streetcar history with the El Paso Times’ video above — and keep coming back for updates.
More: Downtown El Paso streetcars roll closer to completion; Sun Metro prepares to take over
El Paso streetcars over the years
► In 1882, a mule-drawn “streetcar” line started operating in El Paso, bringing passengers to and from the U.S. and Mexico.
► By the 1890s, an electric streetcar network of tracks and overhead wires was set up and operating.
► In 1950, the city bought 17President’s Conference Cars from San Diego, Calif., to help increase ridership that had dwindled after the auto industry flourished.
► In 1974, streetcar service in El Paso came to an end, and the cars were taken to a desert area by the airport, where they eventually rusted and decayed.
► Starting in about 1990, the city ran a fleet of motorized rubber-tire streetcars that didn’t require tracks or overhead wires, but those cars also were removed from the streets by 2000.
► In 2014, the Texas Transportation Commission approved giving the city $97 million to bring back the electric streetcars.
► Six of the original PCC cars are being restored in Pennsylvania and are expected to start arriving in El Paso this spring.
►They will run on a nearly 5-mile route from South El Paso to the University of Texas at El Paso starting in late 2018.