by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BATH — The final chapter of the City of Bath’s trolley “Emma” will soon be coming to a close, but a new one will begin elsewhere.
The trolley, a ‘95 model built by Cable Car Concepts, was purchased used in ‘99 and had roughly 76,000 miles on the odometer. Since then, it has made its route through Bath and served as a charter service. According to Andrew Deci, the trolley has clocked over 120,000 miles in its stint with the city.
Now, though, the costs are starting to rise as Emma gets tired. With the new trolley “Charlie” making the rounds, the city no longer needs the trolley and is planning to sell it soon.
“It’s all about reliability and cost,” said Deci. “An older vehicle just costs more to maintain.”
Currently, according to Deci, Emma would need some serious structural work to be in working order again. That work isn’t worth the cost, especially with the new trolley performing the services more reliably.
The trolley was first purchased after local businesses saw the tourism benefit that the trolley could serve the city. Bath purchased the trolley soon after from the town of Wells, and ever since then the little green vehicle took people on tours throughout the city.
“I think that there’s an element of nostalgia,” said Deci of the trolley. “It’s got its own little character. When people hear the bell and see it coming they always wave and smile.”
Now, the trolley will be sold in a traditional, non-auction format to another municipality or charter company that is interested.
“We thought selling it this way would open it up to more parties,” said Deci.
Although the trolley is older and in need of repair, it is still worth more than you might think. According to Deci and market data he has acquired, the trolley is worth around $20,000 in its current condition.
Until it is sold, Emma will remain where she sits at the public works department, waiting for a new round of passengers in another city.