2743: We’re getting there!

Mike Lawson chats with Rockhill Trolley Museum’s Joel Solomon during work on 2743 at the museum, April 8, 2017.

Work on restoring the interior of PTC 2743 to its 1960s appearance continues, with some significant advances in recent weeks.

All of the car’s seats have now been reupholstered, and volunteers are in the process of re-installing them. The overall appearance is truly gratifying, but two of the most amazing sights are at the front and the back. In the rear of the car, the back bench has been reupholstered in three sections, with the middle cushion easily removable to allow access to a back-up controller, which has yet to be installed. In the front of the car, meanwhile, volunteer Mike Lawson has installed the redone operator’s seat cushions on a cleaned-up frame which works — and looks — much more like the original models than the heavy old seat frame which had been inside the car since its final days of service in Philadelphia.

Mike’s skills and enthusiasm have come as a welcome breath of fresh air as we move toward the final stages of the interior work. His attention to detail really shows through on the primed and repainted cab heaters and other floorboard details. Mike also reinstalled the Pennsylvania PUC notice plate, which, was recently donated to FPT by Chuck Kumpas, and offered some helpful tips about how to clean and polish it. He also removed the plexiglas panel behind the operator’s seat, another 1980s addition. Work is underway to replace the original cloth operator’s curtain which hangs in that space.

In the attached photos, we see Mike, Jerry Evans and Harry Donahue at work inside the car on Saturday, April 8, along with some detail shots. Anyone who might be interested in helping FPT finish this work is welcome to contact us. In particular, we will be looking to do interior paint touch-ups during April and May.

Mike Lawson relaxes in the refurbished operator’s seat.

Harry Donahue checks out the new back bench, with back-up controller access panel.

Looking toward the front of 2743.

The vintage Pennsylvania PUC notice plate has been installed on the front door motor panel.

Here is a closer look at the refurbished rear bench seat.