A large part of the charm of Huntington' Downtown is due to the wide streets. The size of our streets have remained more or less constant for over a century. Today, with the added influx of auto traffic, the challenge of incorporating an electric streetcar alignment into Fourth Avenue is a significant one.

The recommended alignment for the Trolley car route begins at the western intersection of Hal Greer Boulevard and Fourth Avenue and runs along this Avenue to the Eastern side of the 8th Street intersection. The line would be single-track. Track construction is such that the trackway can be driven on, which allows for two-way traffic. When the streetcar is not operating, the trackway can be used for a loading zone.

Issue One - Right-of-Way Width

One of the key factors in determining the feasibility of a vintage streetcar serving the Downtown of Huntington is whether such a system can be built within the available right-of-way. In order to design and engineer the exact alignment, a detailed survey of Fourth Avenue will be necessary. Another benefit of this location is that the grade along the proposed line is virtually nonexistent and there are no curves.

In summary, the proposed right-of-way alignment for the Huntington streetcar poses a number of design issues and will require some difficult decisions as to traffic and parking issues. However, as detailed elsewhere in this report, there are potential mitigation measures which can be adopted to make the alignment feasible.

Issue Two - Parking

A major concern in implementing the historic streetcar alignment is the issue of parking. Fourth Avenue has numerous metered and unmetered spaces, and loading zones, between Hal Greer Bvld. and 8th Street. A reconfiguration of the parking, such as angled parking or the creation of parking areas on the Streets will have to be studied in more detail.


The exact number and location of passenger stops will not be finally set until the engineering phase is completed. Indeed, the system should be designed so as to permit the addition or deletion of stops as ridership and land uses change. Stops should be located so as to provide passengers with convenient access to stores, and other points of interest. Stops spaced too closely impede schedules and increase the capital cost of the system. Therefore, stops must be located so as not to interfere with traffic excessively, and must not compromise safety. Street lights will be timed so as to allow sufficient time to allow traffic to flow and passengers to disembark and load. This author proposes passenger nine (9) stops at each Street intersection.


A modest building will be required in which to house and maintain the vehicle during the evening. We propose constructing a metal building on the existing Greyhound/TTA station parking lot to facilitate this need. As part of the efforts to provide historic authenticity, this building would be constructed of a style similar to the bus station. As an added attraction, it is recommended that the streetcar facility serve as a museum of the transportation systems which provided local service in Huntington during the past.


Virtually all electric streetcars were powered by an overhead contact line. Almost all vintage trolley systems use the same method. In most cases, power is purchased from the local utility company at commercial voltage and fed to a sub-station, whose output is the 600 volt direct current used to propel the cars. The power is distributed by a single overhead wire, about .5" in diameter, suspended at a height of between 18' and 22' above the rails. The current is collected by a swivelling trolley pole mounted on the roof of the car. Along tree-lined streets and in business districts, the wire is virtually invisible.

The single wire is supported from brackets which are attached to poles, spaced on about 100' centers along the track. These poles will be decorative, and can also be used to support street lights and signage. The number of poles required will be determined more precisely during the engineering phase of the project.

Typically, a sub-station can service about one mile of line. Modern sub-stations are fully self-contained and automatic, thus requiring no labor cost for monitoring.

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