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‘Lightning Line’ trolley finds a new home in Montgomery

December 2, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A historic trolley that’s been behind Montgomery’s Union Station Train Shed has moved to a new spot downtown with the aim of making it more visible to the public.

The electric trolley was part of the “Lightning Route” — the first of its kind in the nation in 1886, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.

The route was eventually discontinued, but the trolley car that dates to the pre-1900s still remains.

Union Station was originally a stop for the trolley. Its new spot is near Commerce Street and Montgomery’s Riverwalk.

“We moved the trolley car out there just for more visibility for the public to see since that is such highly trafficked area,” said Tom Pierce, city general services director.

The existing base there for building a structure made the space a good fit, he said.

The spot known as the incubator space was once home to fledgling businesses that used it as their start-up location.

The incubator space that helped launch businesses such as CC Daiquiri’s and EAT South to permanent locations was closed after five years. Lois Cortell, senior development manager with the city, said the program was always planned to finish after a set time.

“I kind of declare it a success. It activated that corner. I think we proved that for certain,” she said, pointing toward the success of retail downtown and the viable spaces available for those businesses to now rent that were not available when the city originally started the incubator.

Cortell said there is movement related to the redevelopment of the space in addition to the trolley car, the Montgomery newspaper reported. That includes an employee in her office assigned to work on plans for the area, which she and others say has the potential to improve the downtown landscape further.

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Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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