Until I started looking into things to do while we’re in Edmonton for my radiation treatments, I’d never heard of the High Level Bridge Streetcar. Maintained and operated by the volunteer members of the Edmonton Radial Railway Society, there are actually four vintage streetcars that operate between Old Strathcona on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River and the Jasper Teminal on the north side, but only one is in operation at a time. Today, it was the Melbourne 930, built in Melbourne, Australia in 1947. In addition, the Society has five more double ended streetcars in operation at Fort Edmonton and several others that they hope to fully restore in the future.
Prior to September 1951, the Edmonton Radial Railway regularly carried passengers across the upper deck of the High Level Bridge. At 755m long and 49m high, the bridge was one of the world’s highest streetcar river crossings and afforded the passengers a spectacular and exhilarating view. To the delight of visitors to the city as well as locals, seasonal service was restored in August 1997.
After finding a place to park near the Strathcona Terminal, we originally intended to stay on the streetcar for the 40 minute round trip, but due to the fact that I’d forgotten my water bottle, an absolute essential on a hot day especially since my saliva production has been greatly suppressed by surgery and radiation, we got off at the Jasper Terminal near the corner of 109th Street and Jasper Avenue. After finding our way to a nearby convenience store and securing a bottle of water as well as a couple of ice cream bars, we enjoying our snack in the shade of a tree at nearby Railway Park before catching the next car back to Old Strathcona.