Phoenix With Kids

Phoenix Trolley Museum

Kim Gudykunst Ollerhead

We visited the Phoenix Trolley Museum to hear stories from the past to better understand why our transportation system is the way it is today. Would you be surprised to learn that Phoenix was built around streetcars? 


The Phoenix Trolley Museum started in 1975 when Carl Wickes, Dwight Vencill, Larry Felimg and others purchased the last remaining original Phoenix streetcars. Over the years several other cars have been converted. The streetcar museum has moved to a new location on Grand Ave. Today we have the opportunity to re-imagine the Phoenix Trolley Museum in a whole new light, as a brand new modern entity, commensurate with the best Phoenix has to offer and telling the fuller story of Phoenix.

The inside of this museum shows the history of street cars from the original mule-drawn streetcar rolled on freshly laid rails down Washington Street through the new light rail that runs through Phoenix. The museum is constantly being upgraded and more informaition is being added by the amazing volunteers.

Street Cars

Outside you can find street cars they are working on renovating. Street Car is almost fully restored. This car was originally manufactured in 1928 for the City of Phoenix at a cost of $13,700. This street car drove over 15 million miles during its career.  The crown jewel in the museum collection is this Birney Safety Car made by American Car Company of St Louis. This original artifact may have carried your ancestors to the grocers or downtown to the Fox Theater. The trolley system covered over twenty miles of track in a town that went no further than the surrounding mountains.

Calcine Electric Locomotive was donated in the 1980’s. It sits outside with old mining cars, along with spare parts for restoring trolleys. The volunteers were kind and gave us a personal tour, along with all kinds of stories about street cars over the years. The kids loved it.

The Phoenix Trolley Museum is open October 1 – May 30th from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Click here to check for any current events.

Phoenix Trolley Museum

1117 Grand Avenue

Phoenix, Arizona 85007

More great things to do in Phoenix can be found here!

  • Kim Gudykunst Ollerhead

    Kim is a chef, dishwasher, dry cleaner, housekeeper, landscaper, snack fetcher, photographer and personal assistant to toddler twins. Curently homeschooling her three year olds and loving teaching preschool. She loves exploring everything with her kids and photographing every minute of it. Follow her on Instagram @phoenixwithtwins.

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