After its run of operation came to a close nearly 70 years ago, the last streetcar to operate in Denver is headed for restoration. It’s hoped that it will be preserved for years to come.
“It’s a real historic artifact,” said Walter Weart who is now heading up the Friends of .04 trolley. “There were times when we thought it would never happen, because we had tried a number of other attempts to get it restored without any luck.”
Weart bought the No. 04 car in 1999 and then donated it to be restored. It was once designated one of the most endangered places in Colorado. Years of work funded by grants has allowed the No.04 to head off for a yearlong complete restoration.
“I knew it could be restored and I didn’t want to see it disappear,” Weart said.
The trolley used to run a route through North Denver, past Lakeside, into Arvada, and all the way to the coalmine in Leyden. It also traveled a line into Golden. Weart says only a handful of the old Denver streetcars remain after the system was shut down in 1950.
“This was the actual very last car. I have the train order that shows it was arriving in downtown Denver on July 2nd. This line shut down on July 1st and the Denver streetcars had shut down a month earlier,” he said.
Now History Colorado Center and the City of Arvada are funding the effort to have No.04 restored. It will then find a home around Olde Town Arvada.
“I can’t tell you how pleased we are that that car is going for professional restoration,” Weart said. “Arvada was dependent on this trolley. It’s not just a vehicle it was a way of life back then.”
The Friends of the No.04 trolley are hosting a benefit on Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. to raise money for the restoration and permanent home.