The Belmont Trolley is full steam ahead. The Charlotte Historic Landmark Commission has voted to gift Belmont Trolley one trolley, and extend a perpetual long term lease on another, thus giving Belmont a total of three trolleys.
Belmont Trolley has secured rights to the PNN rail line, which runs from Glenway Street in Belmont, to Belmont Abbey. Long range goals include possibly extending the trolley line to Mount Holly and Gastonia.
According to Rob Pressley, Board President of Belmont Trolley, there are plans to build a trolley barn off of Glenway Street in Belmont. Not only would this building house the three trolleys, it could also be used for a farmer’s market, weddings, corporate events and more. Moreover, it will be located at a trail head for the Carolina Thread Trail, and will have public restrooms. Currently the trolleys will be stored in the Belmont Public Works building, while they are being refurbished.
Originally the trolleys were powered by overhead electric power lines, which is not really an option in today’s environment. Instead, Belmont Trolley is working with the Engineering School at UNCC to come up with a clean energy solution, and one that will be beautiful as well… imagine some sort of rechargeable cart or appliance that will connect to and power the trolleys.
According to Pressley, the trolleys will be a great economic driver for eastern Gaston County. His company was involved with the trolleys that ran near Atherton Mill in Charlotte, which brought thousands of unique visitors to that area. He expects the same for Gaston County. People will come from near and far just to ride the trolley- and in the meantime eat in local restaurants, and shop in local shops.
The trolleys and trolley barn will also have an educational function. Belmont Trolley expects to host school groups and visitors interested in the trolleys, and the history of trolleys and rail in the growth of the textile industry in Gaston County.
Belmont Trolley-combinig the best of past and the future.