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Vintage MBTA trolleys up for auction

This and six other trolley cars could soon be yours. They're up for auction until the end of January, with bidding starting at $500.MBTA (custom credit)

Looking to start a chain of diners, develop a neighborhood of tiny houses, or build a coral reef? Just plain crazy about trains? If so, you may be in luck.

Until the end of January, transit aficionados have the opportunity to buy a group of seven vintage MBTA subway and trolley cars in a public auction. To make room for new cars -- hundreds of which are coming in the years ahead -- and comply with safety laws, the MBTA removes salvagable parts from inoperable trains, then puts the cars up for auction.

What to do with an old subway or trolley car? That’s up for the highest bidder to decide.


“The old cars are sold to the highest bidder, usually for the scrap metal,” said Joe Pesaturo, the MBTA spokesman. “Old cars are retired after they are no longer capable of providing safe and reliable passenger service.”

Made by Boeing and Kinkisharyo in the early 1970s and ‘80s, the cars have sat idle for at least three years, according to the auction posting. Bidding for the lot of seven cars -- which include Orange Line subway cars and Green Line trolley cars -- starts at $500, and the auction ends Jan. 28.

The cars must be removed from the site by a tow truck, according to the auction site. Onsite scrapping is not allowed.

The MBTA replaced the Blue Line fleet about 10 years ago. They’ll be disposing of hundreds of Orange and Red Line subway cars in the coming years, replacing them with 152 Orange Line cars and 252 Red Line new cars.

Matt Berg can be reached at matthew.berg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.