Climb aboard: Trolley offers tour of cityThat "Clang, clang, clang" sound you hear around Red Wing is just Karen and Curt Kline's way of saying "Come on, climb aboard."
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
That "Clang, clang, clang" sound you hear around Red Wing is just Karen and Curt Kline's way of saying "Come on, climb aboard."
The Klines resurrected trolley service - a form of transportation that Red Wing hadn't seen in a dozen years - in summer of 2009.
From May through the fall "leaf season," the Red Wing Trolley Company is available to take people on a narrated tour of the community. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday from May through Sept. 10, then 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday until the end of October.
Narrators tell stories, provide some historical context and talk about Red Wing.
Headquarters for the trolley service is the Red Wing Visitors & Convention Bureau, located in the historic Depot at 420 Levee St., between downtown and the Mississippi River.
The trolley company has a ticket booth and ticket sales staff at the Depot. Customers purchase all-day tickets, which means they can get off and on at any of the designated stops throughout the day.
The trolley's route takes up to a maximum 28 passengers from the Depot at Levee Park to the Boathouse Village and Bay Point Park, then to the Red Wing Potteries on Old West Main Street. After swinging through a residential area, it heads for the historic Sheldon Theatre, then proceeds to Barn Bluff, off East Fifth Street.
Returning through town, the trolley takes passengers up the hill to the Goodhue County History Center, then back to the St. James Hotel by way of another historic neighborhood.
The tour takes about 50 minutes, leaving every hour on the hour.
It also is available for charter if groups such as wedding parties, reunions or others want to reserve it for an hour or two, she said. The trolley only runs within the city of Red Wing, however. It is not intended for highway traffic.
The Klines were inspired to start up the business in Red Wing after going on a trolley ride while visiting Stillwater, Minn. Back home, they discovered there was a committee in town working toward the same goal.
The couple pushed forward, locating and purchasing a trolley in Omaha, Neb. It had originally run in Philadelphia.
The trolley is half open-air, half enclosed. The front section has windows, which people can close. The rear section is open-sided, but with drop-down windows in the event of bad weather.
The Klines, who also own and operate Red Wing Mobility, are actively involved in operation of the trolley, although others will be the regular drivers and narrators.
The latest information about the trolley can be found by calling the trolley office, (651) 388-9215, or going on the Web site www.redwingtrolley.com.