South Lake Union Streetcar celebrates 15 years

We’re all big fans of the trolley.

South Lake Union Trolley

The S.L.U.T. during its big 2007 debut.

Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives

Ring-a-ding ding. Happy birthday to one of Seattle’s quirkiest Seattle transit services: the South Lake Union Streetcar.

The electrified train first started rolling this week in December 2007 from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to McGraw Square.

While the Light Rail and Metro often get all the glory, we thought we’d explore a little history behind the streetcar on its 15th anniversary — including a long-running inside joke.

  • It was the first line Seattle launched since the city stopped using the streetcar system in 1941
  • It runs on electricity rather than the horse-drawn versions wayyyy back in 1884
  • The South Lake Union Streetcar line covers 1.3 miles and includes seven stops.
  • Though the official name never had the word “trolley” in it, many Seattleites opted to call it the S.L.U.T. — hey, we love an innocent, but dirty-sounding pun. (Bags of Dick’s, anyone?)
More from SEAtoday