Perfected in the 19th century workshop of American inventor Frank Sprague, the first functional electric trolley was embraced as a miracle of the electric age—a device that could rid streets of suffocating piles of horse manure and flies and even re-invent civilization. And it did.

The electric streetcar, tram or trolley was a ride that changed everything. Across a century-and-a-half, trolleys carried billions of people to work and play and home again. Gifted with extreme efficiency and an egalitarian outlook, the device helped revitalize and re-build the urban landscape.

Created expressly for giant IMAX® screens The Trolley that Saves the Worldpropels audiences on a kinetic, electrifying and music-charged journey through great cities across the globe, revealing the trolley’s own roller coaster ride: from humble birth to explosive, world-transforming success, to near obliteration in the automobile age, to its technological renaissance in the 21st century. From the trolley’s kinetic vantage, we witness a century and-a-half of explosive change and discover the hidden magic of the trolley itself.

Length: 45:43

Film Details

  • Year Released: 2018
  • Date Released:


  • Alternate Titles: The Trolley That Saves the World
  • Status: In Distribution
  • 3D: No
  • Run Time: 31-50
  • Formats: DCI-compliant Digital, IMAX Digital, IMAX Laser
  • Distributor:

    The Stephen Low Company

  • Produced By:

    The Stephen Low Company, City of Future Films

  • Executive Producer: Paul Globus
  • Producer: Stephen Low, Pietro L. Serapiglia
  • Director:  Stephen Low
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer:  Stephen Low
  • Cinematography: Tristan Breeuwer, Stephen Low
  • Sound Editor: 

    Peter Thillaye

  • Visual Effects: Mario Rachiele, Oblique
  • Music/Score: 
  • Editor: James Lahti
  • Narrator: Maurice Dean Wint
  • Other Credits:
  • Sponsors:


  • Documentary
  • Historical
  • Technology
  • Transportation


Film website


Film Facts

Over the course of more than two years, the production team for The Trolley filmed in cities around the world, including Geneva, Lyon, Montpellier, Marseille, Nice, Milan, Toronto and Hong Kong. The film weaves together these live-action trolley journeys