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On This Day In Cheyenne History: The Trolley Car Hits The Streets

Gary Freeman, TSM
Gary Freeman, TSM

There were a few different ways to get around in Cheyenne in the late 1800s, but the streetcar was one of the first local ways to take advantage of public transportation.

It was officially known as ‘The Cheyenne Street Railway‘ and was put together in 1886, when Wyoming was only a territory and not yet a state.

A city permit to lay the track was obtained by the two consolidated rail companies in 1887, when Charles Riner was the mayor. The mayor granted the permit in spite of complaints from local residents who lived on 17th street because they said it would be too noisy.

The track would cover the downtown area and would be built on streets going north from the Cheyenne Depot.

In August of 1887, the permit went to a company called the Cheyenne Carriage Company for four, 30-passenger horse-drawn street cars in the tune of $1000 each.

In 1888, the first horse-drawn streetcar or trolley, operated out of the Abney Livery Stables, located at 16th Street in Cheyenne.

On another note, the total rail system consisted of 52-pound rail, with over 51,000 feet of copper wire was used overhead. At the time, Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power charged the rail 2 1/4 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity.

The streetcar finally ceased operation in August of 1924.

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