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Thanks for the Oregon photos. I found them very interesting.  I was particularly interested in the photo of Portland Traction 4004.  PT 4001 is at the Western Railway Museum.  See photo below.  It was formerly Indiana Railroad 202. Another of these cars, 4003 I think, is at IRM.  Indiana Railroad bought 6 of these cars and two still exist. 



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Being a Long Islander, trolley lines that operated on Long Island are my favorites, especially these:

New York & North Shore Railway;

NY&NST 10 Stephenson

New York & Long Island Traction Company;NY&LIT Car 9 194kb

Huntington Railroad;

Huntington RR No 28

Manhattan & Queens Traction Company;

July 20th, 1937 image was taken on Queens Boulevard between Union Turnpike and Van Wyck Boulevard in Kew Gardens while passing Maple Grove Cemetery - Copy

New York & Queens County;

College Point Ferry Terminal at the end of 14th Avenue 3

Brooklyn & Queens Transit;

B&QT Peter Witt 8361 in St. George 334KB

Northport Traction Company


My favorite street car / trolley car historian is Vincent Seyfried who was my high school English teacher.

Lets see your favorite traction lines.





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  • NY&NST 10 Stephenson
  • NY&LIT Car 9 194kb
  • July 20th, 1937 image was taken on Queens Boulevard between Union Turnpike and Van Wyck Boulevard in Kew Gardens while passing Maple Grove Cemetery - Copy
  • Huntington RR No 28
  • College Point Ferry Terminal at the end of 14th Avenue 3
  • B&QT Peter Witt 8361 in St. George 334KB
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Post cards of trolley and interurban cars are great sources of traction history. This post card is fascinating. Look at the 3 interurban cars. There must have been a wye track arrangement at Evans City Junction.

Evans City Jct, Harmony Line, Pa

Evans City Junction was likely an important place circa 1910 judging by the photographic attention given to it by the media.

1910 Evans City Jct xkb






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Yesterday there was a little switching at the Western Railway Museum to get ready for a special event.  I happened to be there and took a couple of pictures. 

This is San Diego LRV 1017

This is Key System bridge unit 187.  It operated over the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge from 1939 to 1958.  Removal of the tracks from the bridge in 1958 resulted in the California Toll Bridge Authority having to fund the BART Transbay Tube 10 years later.  As I recall it cost about $150,000,000.
entral California Traction Company box motor #7.  It worked from Stockton to Sacramento CA until 1947 drawing power from a 1200 VDC third rail.  The body was built by J G Brill for the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis, where it ran as their #1.  The electrical and mechanical equipment came from a previous WB and A  #1, which burned c1929.  I believe the car was paid for with an insurance settlement.   Behind 7 is Salt Lake and Utah interurban observation 751.  This is a control trailer.


The following two photos are the control equipment in the very small cab of Key Unit 187.  I should have lifted the camera just a little and then the automatic speed control indicator would have been visible.  The name plate just above the brake valve handle stop is on the bottom of the indicator light box.  There were 4 speed indicators, 11, 17, 25, and 35 mph.   As the cars speed approached the indicated speed a bell would start to ring slowly with the ringing speed picking up as the speed got closer to the indicated speed.  If the indicated speed was exceeded a buzzer would sound giving the motorman a few seconds to acknowledge the buzzer and make a brake application.  When I was younger I rode over the Bridge many times on these units.  A good motorman would keep the bell ringing the entire trip over the bridge.



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The switching at the Western Railway Museum a couple weeks ago was to get Napa Valley 63 out of the back of Carhouse 3.   One of the Museum’s members wanted to take a ride on this car.  He has been involved with it most of his life. This may be his last ride on the car. Napa Valley 63’s steel body was built by St Louis Car Company in 1932 after a carhouse fire destroyed several of this company’s cars. It was paid for with an insurance settlement.  Electrical and mechanical equipment was salvaged from a burned car.  It only ran 4 years before Napa Valley gave up passenger service. Napa Valley continued limited operation to deliver US Mail and switch Mare Island Navy yard. 63 was kept until after the war helping preforming these duties. It was then stripped of its electrical equipment and used as a coach by a lumber company. 

The Museum acquired the car in 1985. There has been a lot of work done to the car since to make it serviceable, but electrical equipment has not been reinstalled yet. For this special trip it was towed by Sacramento Northern 1005. This car was heavily rebuilt in 2000 at the Museum after it was nearly destroyed in a railroad switching accident in 1960.   Following pictures were taken on a test trip on Wednesday.  The Special run was today. 



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Last edited by David Johnston

I've always said if I could go back in time and spend a day with one person it would be my paternal grandfather who died in 1952, 8 years before I was born. He was said to be surly and ill tempered and had a penchant for dangerous vocations but I figure he would have softened up some for his grandson ;-)   Among other things he served in WWI in both the Calvary and as a pilot in the US Army Air Corps. In the 1930's he was a motorcycle cop in Newark, NJ during a time when they were killed or injured with some regularity. He was assigned to provide escort for a dignitary aboard the Hindenburg and was at Lakehurst when it crashed and burned. He built his retirement cottage on Barnegat Bay at the Jersey Shore by himself from the ground up and spent his final years deep sea fishing in the Atlantic. The stories he could tell must have been endless.

Another job he had, which I only just discovered, was as a street car operator or conductor or something related. My sister recently found this photo in a box of my late father's possessions.

That's my grandfather on the left resting his foot on the head of a co-worker. I can only assume this was before his career on the police force and he looks fairly young so I'd say just after the war in the mid to late 20's. I'm guessing the photo was taken in Newark where he lived.
I'm hoping one of of the experts on board here can identify the type of trolley and possibly add some information.
Thanks in advance.


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Last edited by G-Man24

G-Man:  Probably one of these, or something similar:

Looks like a single-end version, as the doors at photo right have been converted to walls and there's no trolley pole over their heads.


Interesting I didn't even notice the lack of overhead power or mast. So were these conversion cars being fitted with some type of combustion engine ?

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