By Norma C. Adams
Hampton Union, Wednesday, May 18, 1983
HAMPTON - There will be a new look in town soon that may be the beginning of an old era.
The trolley, complete with wooden benches, clanging bells and brass poles, is coming back in all its Victorian charm to perform its original service. The only part of the revival that is missing are the tracks and overhead electric wires, not needed with engineering science's more efficient combustion engines.
But the flavor will be there for the town and the tourists.
The two hand-built trolley cars were designed by Walt Disney, Inc. of Florida and built by trolley specialists in Kissimmee, Florida to very rigid specifications. They have been under construction for two months and will be driven to Hampton soon, from Florida, in time for "Trolley Daze Weekend" May 28.
Service starts May 27 on a limited schedule.
During night runs, the trolleys will have, not only a driver, but a conductor to add to the authenticity of the experience.
Fares will be modest, with the option of buying discount tokens from "The Hampton Trolley Company."
The operators of the system, C and J Limo of Dover, are experienced in the transportation business with a similar service effected last summer in Portsmouth, catering to the tourist trade there with historical stops being the main part of the tour. That service will be implemented again.
C and J also manages the limo service from Lamie's in downtown Hampton to Logan Airport in Boston.
Manager Al Ross says Memorial Weekend will be the start up date for the trolleys.
System Manager Albert "Al" Ross said last week six experienced drivers have been hired for the runs and local garaging and fuel stops have been set. If the need arises, he said the Portsmouth trolley work for extra duty in Hampton evenings.
Ross said a lot of thought, time, money and study has been put into the system, and he is convinced the need for service to the beach in the summer exists. Also, the trolley itself, painted a bright red, provokes a holiday spirit and should enhance the ambiance of the entire town for the whole community. Riding in the open air of the trolley should compliment the town that Hampton already is, he said.
The two cars are scheduled to operate from 9 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., with one car essentially a beach car and the other an uptown car, the two meeting at an interception point for interchange of passengers if that is what the rider wishes.
One car will run from the state park on Route 1A (Ocean Boulevard) at lower Hampton Beach north to the intersection of High Street and Route 1, before reversing back to the state park.
The second car will begin its route at High Street parking lot, go east on High Street, stopping at Five Corners, (the intersection of Locke, Mace and Little River roads and High Street). The trolley will then proceed to Hampton center after turning around, go north on Route 1 to the Hampton Motor Inn, the Greenery, the Hampton Airport and the North Hampton Factory Outlet shopping center.
The driver will then return to Hampton center on Route 1 after stopping at the Ski Shed, Simone's House of Pancakes and Lamie's. The trolley will be turned around at the Galley Hatch at the intersection of Route 1 and Winnacunnet Road and be driven to the town parking lot on High Street very near the center of town. It will then proceed back down High Street to Route 1 where it will intercept the beach trolley.
Passengers will be able to take the trolley from the center of town, change cars at lower High Street, and go all the way to the beach.
Beach passengers will be able to shop uptown Hampton or at the factory outlet stores in North Hampton and be assured a return run to the beach.
From May 27 until June 15, service will run on a limited schedule with all-day service on weekends. From June 15 until September 5, all-day, on-the-hour service, including nights, will begin.
Ross said the system would be privately run with no government funding, a practically unheard of practice today. He said the service could be a continuing part of the area if it is received well.