Loop Trolley cars will be running in the Delmar Loop district next week but only for operator training.
Kevin Barbeau, executive director of Loop Trolley Co., said the start date for public use of the 2.2-mile line has yet to be set. But it will be sometime after late November, which Barbeau previously had said would be the earliest possible start date.
Still, Barbeau said next week’s training in the Loop is a milestone for the long-delayed project.
“Seeing these vehicles out on the street, under power, passing by the great many businesses along the Delmar Loop, is a moment we’ve all been eagerly and anxiously anticipating,” he said.
The five trainees previously operated the cars only on the part of the line east of Des Peres Avenue and Delmar Boulevard on a protected designated track along Delmar and DeBaliviere Avenue.
On the western end of the line, the trolley cars will share Delmar with motor vehicles, pulling out of traffic at designated stops.
Next week will be the first time the trolley cars will use the Delmar Loop tracks under their own power. They had been towed through the Loop area in previous testing to detect close clearances and other problems.
The five trainees have completed four weeks of classroom instruction. Also in training are three dispatchers. The company plans to train a second group of prospective operators closer to the line’s opening.
Barbeau said motorists need to be aware that the trolley cars can’t swerve off the track to avoid double-parked or improperly parked vehicles along Delmar.
He said drivers should be sure their entire vehicles, including the side view mirrors, are parked inside striped parking lines on the street. Violators will be towed at the owner’s expense, he said.
Barbeau said the start of service depends on how soon a…