Yakima Valley Trolleys Powerhouse Museum
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Yakima Valley Trolleys Powerhouse Museum

Yakima Valley Trolleys Powerhouse Museum
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Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
About
Established in 1907 - Yakima Valley Trolleys (YVTs) preserves the last intact, early 20th century, interurban electric railway left in America. YVTs Motormen motor Trolley Car (#1976) to Trolley Station Park in Selah, WA and back to the YVTs Powerhouse Museum on Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays beginning on May 27, 2023. Our 1928 Oporto Trolley (1976) leaves YVTs Powerhouse Museum at 418 South 3rd Avenue in Yakima, WA (90-minute round-trip to Selah's Trolley Station Park) at 10am, Noon, and 2pm and some holidays during our Summer Season - if we are able to repair our tracks before we before we reopen. Plus your group (up to 32 people) can charter the trolley year round for only $150 per hour minimum.
Yakima, Washington

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles20 reviews
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mtgops
Yakima, WA35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Family
The Yakima Valley Trolley Museum, its motor units and rolling stock, is the remnants of what was once a generous electric railroad system built at the turn of the 20th century to provide freight service to the outlying apple and tree fruit orchards that were north and west of the City of Yakima. This system was built primarily to haul freight in the form of picked and boxed fruit from points west and north of the city into town and then connecting to the Union Pacific and Great Northern freight lines for further distribution. Passenger service was a secondary mission of the electric railway, but today is the main draw for tourists and enthusiasts alike.

The system is very small now, with most of the track and overhead electrical lines having been removed between the end of the system's use as a passenger system after the end of WWII and the last long stretch of the westbound line being removed in the mid 80s.

This leave two runs, an electrified run from the Trolley barn at 3rd St. and Pine, all the way up to the terminus of the Pine St. line near Tieton Dr., and a run all the way out to the edge of the Selah city limits which runs along 6th Ave through Yakima and across the Naches River.

The 6th St./Selah line, over the course of 10-15 years, has seen its fare share of vandalism and acts of god which have prevented its full use for many years now. A number of years back the 6th St. line had its copper overhead wire removed by vandals, presumably to be sold for scrap, which made the line unusable. The volunteers for YVT have built a power cart which the trolley carries with it providing electric power for the trolley journey down this now unpowered stretch of track. Earlier in 2016 a rock slide along the farthest part of the 6th St. Line as it approaches Selah has covered the track with rock and boulders. As of this writing, The City of Yakima, who owns the YVT system has not addressed the rock on the track and does not wish the trolley to make the full run out to Selah until both the rock is cleared and a geological study of the nearby hillside has been completed.

Tourists and enthusiasts that want to ride a particular trolley line should call YVT the day they intend to visit to determine which line the trolley will be going out on if there is a preference as to which line they wish to be on. I have been out on the trolley twice this year and it was on the short Pine St. line each time.

YVT also has in its barn a number of other motor units. They have two 30s vintage double truck electric street cars and they have two electric freight locomotives. Both freight locos are operational. The two 30s vintage streetcars need restoration. The streetcars they currently use are 20s vintage wooden single truck trolleys which are similar to original YVT passenger conveyance, but acquired from Portugal in the 70s to reconstitute the trolley system and provide a tourist attraction.

Keep in mind when you visit that this is not a restored and fully functioning streetcar/trolley system as you would find in San Francisco or New Orleans. This is a financially struggling preservation initiative which does not have sufficient remaining track to offer a mass transit option to the local community and isn't prevalent enough in the community to make for a compelling tourist attraction that would attract numerous out-of-town enthusiasts.

This isn't to say that this isn't a good organization to visit or what they are attempting isn't worthwhile, but they lack the support they need to realize a greater vision and more compelling restoration efforts. You will enjoy the ride no matter how short or long, and the motormen are knowledgeable about the system and its history, and there are few places in the world that still run vintage electric trolleys of this age on a regular basis during the spring and summer, but you won't be using this trolley to move around town or as a jump on/off tourist conveyance.
Written December 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eileen S
Portland, OR30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
This year my sister and I promised ourselves that we would ride the trolley. We went on the last run on a Saturday afternoon, taking the trolley on the line to Selah. It was a memorable experience -- like time travel. Keeping the trolleys running is a labor of love for the volunteers. The ride was fun (great for little kids), and the history fascinating. I recommend the ride, support the efforts to keep this piece of Yakima history alive and well for the next generation.
Written August 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kinda Invisible
Seattle, WA297 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Family
We were visiting local friends who thought our almost-4-year-old would love the experience...and they were right. Run by volunteers it seems just a tad bit expensive but overall we truly enjoyed the experience. The conductor was so nice he let our kiddo "drive" for a while, pull the cord for the warning horn, and made him feel special. We enjoyed watching complete strangers stop to wave and smile as we passed by (of course we waved back!). We were so impressed with this little gem that we even wrote a letter to the City saying they should advertise it more. We will definitely be back.
Written July 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeenaG4me
Pasco, WA295 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
We decided to visit Yakima Valley Trolleys and their museum after looking at their website. On the website it says "For the 2014 operating season, we plan to operate on our 101-year-old Selah line by means of a motor-generator car...The trip to Selah is a somewhat longer ride, at almost two hours long... the views are quite scenic and we are excited to be traveling these tracks again!" We were excited about taking the trolley on this scenic route and learning about the history of the trolleys and the area. We bought our tickets and got on the trolley. The "Trainman" was very nice and we enjoyed his narrative. However, the trolley had barely left the station - we'd traveled maybe three blocks - when it stopped and the trainman pointed to a track going off toward Selah and said "That's the track to Selah. We won't be going there today." He proceeded to say that a bunch of work needed to be done to get the track and that route operating again and that he was hoping they'd be able to get it working again before the end of the 2014 season which is September 1. What? We thought we were going to Selah!?! Then the trolley started up again and went a couple more blocks. He stopped again and asked if anyone would like to drive the trolley. A young boy went up and was shown how to operate the controls and was allowed to "drive" it a little ways. The trainman told us about how they offer special trips at Halloween and during the Christmas holidays, and that the trolley can be rented out for reunions, weddings, etc., by special arrangement. The trolley then proceeded up the street another maybe four or five blocks, at which time it stopped and the trainman said "Well, this is as far as we can go." Then he had us flip our seats around so we would be facing the other way and he moved the electric cable line around to the other side, and he drove the trolley back to the station. There we were invited to tour the "shop" area, where he told us some of the history of the trolleys in the area, how the shop had operated, etc. We then got back on the trolley and were driven another 500 yards or so to where we had initially boarded. And we were done. We were extremely disappointed. I think the biggest disappointment was that the person who sold us the tickets did not tell us that the trolley would not be going on the longer trip to Selah. Obviously, that's what everyone was expecting, since that's what it said on their website. I felt like we'd been intentionally lied to - although it was not really a lie, just not being upfront with customers about the route the trolley would be taking that day. We were charged the full price - the same as we would have been if we'd gotten the two-hour ride to Selah and back and the additional historical narrative. That was just wrong on all counts. We enjoyed what little narrative and tour we got, but it wasn't what we'd expected and that was wrong.
Written August 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matthew S
Orlando, FL18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Friends
Very few historic trolley lines like Yakima's is in operation. Arrive early to see the museum and buy your tickets. This is volunteer run and funded, so be sure to leave a tip behind. Enjoy the out and back route to Selah and cross the beautiful Naches river.
Written September 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Railhistoryfan
Exton, PA775 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
Want something fun for an hour? Visit the Yakima Trolley and ride their old cars. At present they run a short route and have a museum to visit with a small gift shop. We rode on a Sunday with a group of six locals. No one else was around. Our crew was very informative and noticed we were rail fans. They offered and we took a tour of the car barn -- great to visit. I hope they can find some money and more volunteers. This could be a great place to visit.
Written July 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PelleasPhiladelphia
Philadelphia, PA1,079 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Family
A really neat activity for train/trolley fanatics. You get to ride on a truly old historic electric trolley and get a tour of others. It's a highly detailed tour and you even get to drive the train for a block. Just be warned that we thought this was a 30 min scenic ride when in fact it's just a ride down a few city blocks.
Written June 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yardmaster20002000
Reno, NV53 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Couples
A must see if in Yakima. Great tour from knowledgeable staff. Decent price. Needs updating in museum portion giving patrons more to choose from in activities
Written March 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike G
Yakima, WA45 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
We went with another couple on this little trolley journey… Very interesting old route from Yakamart to Selah along the river. Hard bench seating in an antique trolley car… At the amazing speeds of 3 to 5 mph. Maybe sometimes up to six. We saw sites no one else was able to see in Yakima, such as garbage strewn along side the tracks, jagged rocks sticking out from Cliff‘s inches away from the trolley car, and even had an emergency stop where someone had messed with the tracks, the engineer got out and after five minutes we were again zooming away at 5 miles an hour. Remarkable views of homeless camp strewn along Yacama River. Once in Selah, the train just reversed itself, as there is no way to turn it around and the electric generator car pushed us all the way back to Yakima, over a large bridge, and this time we were prepared with cameras in hand To snap photos of the smiling people living along the river waving at us. We stopped one block short of Destiination, as the trolley got stuck on the track, and walked back to our car. What an exhilarating feeling to get in a vehicle that actually could do 60. Overall, a great one time experience.
Written November 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vicki T
Selah, Washington, United States29 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Friends
Took my 6-year-old and 8 year-old grandkids on an adventure and ended up on the trolley. I had done done this for too long as I had forgotten how much fun this was. Great tour and all the staff was so friendly. Another thing on my To-Do list for myself and family and friends to do!
Written December 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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