$25 Day at Pa. Trolley Museum a success

Red Arrow St. Louis cars 24 and 14 pose for photographers at twilight opposite Richfol shelter. Roger DuPuis photo.

By Roger DuPuis and Bill Monaghan
Friends of Philadelphia Trolleys

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Over 50 guests enjoyed an opportunity to operate vintage Philadelphia-area streetcars when The Friends of Philadelphia Trolleys (FPT) and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum (PTM) jointly hosted “Twenty-Five Dollar Day” on Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12, 2021 in conjunction with “Philadelphia Days” at the museum.

Their support enabled FPT to donate $2,000 toward restoration of Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. (Red Arrow) center door car 76, a 1926 Brill product that was acquired by PTM in 1990.

On Friday night, guests were treated to rides and photos with Red Arrow St. Louis streamliner cars 14 and 24, including multiple-unit operation of these vehicles in contrasting 1940s (14) and 1970s (24) paint schemes.

Saturday featured four Philadelphia cars from PTM’s collection out on the line for the event:

• Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co. 5326, a double-ended city car (Brill, 1926)

• Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. 78, a double-ended suburban car (Brill, 1932)

• Philadelphia Transportation Co. single-ended city PCC 2711 (St. Louis Car Co., 1947)

• Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. double-ended streamliner 14 (St. Louis Car Co. 1949)

Remarkably, three of the four cars (78, 2711, 14) continued to serve Philadelphia-area commuters well into the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority era.

For their $25 donation, participants had the chance to ride, photograph, and operate these vintage streetcars under the guidance of PTM instructors. Scheduling and coordination ran smoothly, with participants having the opportunity to have at least two turns at the controls of a trolley along PTM’s scenic right-of-way through the Washington County countryside in western Pennsylvania. It is notable that many guests made the journey to PTM not just from the Philadelphia area, but also from New Jersey, Maryland and other parts of Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre and — of course — greater Pittsburgh.

FPT would like to thank the volunteers at PTM for a wonderful weekend, as well as everyone that attended, Steve Barry for providing the flash lighting for night photos on Saturday night and Tom Pawlesh for arranging antique autos to pose alongside the trolleys.

Restoration of center door car 73 is progressing at PTM’s shop. Many of its rattan seats are badly worn or water-damaged. The restoration plan calls for the seats to be rebuilt and reupholstered with Naugahyde to match sister car 66 at the museum. The estimate for this work is $7,000, or approximately $250 per seat. The work will be done by a local contractor who specializes in antique auto upholstery.

For those who would like to help, donations of any amount are appreciated. Please make checks payable to:

Friends of Philadelphia Trolleys Inc.
P.O. Box 33397
Philadelphia, PA 19142-0397

Donations may also be made via PayPal by visiting our JOIN FPT! page, where visitors will find a donation button.

 

FPT to host PCC-II charter in conjunction with East Penn meet

(Bill Monaghan photo)

PHILADELPHIA — Friends of Philadelphia Trolleys (FPT) will be sponsoring a PCC-II charter in conjunction with the East Penn Traction Meet on Sunday, May 19, 2019.

The E.P.T.M. will take place on Friday & Saturday May 17th & 18th, come out to the show and check out our table.

The charter will depart SEPTA Elmwood Depot at 11:00AM and will return around 3PM the fare for the trip is $45. To reserve a seat, please send a check for $45.00 made out to FPT, Inc., and mail to: FPT c/o Harry Donahue, 103 Mulberry Court, Morgantown, PA 19543. All proceeds will go to PTC Peter Witt 8042 at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Need more info? Contact: Bill Monaghan FPT2799@comcast.net

WWII event at Rockhill Trolley Museum

(Courtesy Rockhill Trolley Museum.)

Philadelphia Transportation Co. PCC 2743, one of FPT’s recent restoration projects, is expected to take part in a living history event this weekend at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Central Pennsylvania.

On Sept. 9, the museum will host a new World War II living history event to put trolley passengers in the middle of the sights, sounds, and tension of homefront America in 1944. Enjoy the sounds and get up and dance to great 1940s swing music played live by The Big Band Sound, Inc. Experience exciting moments Pennsylvania trolley history, such as when trolleys served the war effort, when women first ran the trolleys, and even when fully armed soldiers guarded city transit vehicles.

The first trolley departs at 11:15 a.m., and the band will play from noon to 3 p.m. The last trolley rides will be at 4:15 p.m.

Admission to event is $8 per adult, $5 for children 12 or under, and infants are free. Admission includes live swing dance music performance, trolley rides, a chance to interact with history re-enactors, and more.

In addition to regular trolley rides, there will be limited seating on three special trolley rides throughout the day, at 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. These rides will have combat-equipped Allied soldiers guarding the cars, so passengers should be advised that they may hear gunfire nearby on these special trips. Not recommended for young children, and some walking over gravel and stepping on and off of trolleys is required. Keep an eye out for enemy activity as you ride, and meet the trolley museum’s collection of military veteran rail equipment.

You can reserve a seat for the special ride on the museum’s website, www.rockhilltrolley.org. Note that there is a fee for online reservations.