Badgered

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend car 30 was built in 1926 by Pullman, and retired in the early 1980s. It, and several of its sister cars, are an important part of East Troy's fleet.

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend car 30 was built in 1926 by Pullman, and retired in the early 1980s. It, and several of its sister cars, are an important part of East Troy’s fleet.

There’s plenty of traction action going on nowadays in Wisconsin, the Badger State. We just spent an eventful weekend checking it out.

On Friday, we stopped by Kenosha for a ride on their two-mile streetcar loop. 4616, the Cincinnati tribute car, was out on the line that day.

On Saturday, I spent some time in Milwaukee, where track construction on Phase 1 of their new modern streetcar line is well underway. A few blocks of track are already in place on St. Paul Street.

The 2.5 mile-long line begins near the Milwaukee Intermodal Station (Amtrak), and heads east into the historic Third Ward. It will cross the Milwaukee River, but as of this writing no work has been done to add tracks to the existing bridge on St. Paul.

From the Third Ward, home of the Milwaukee Public Market, the line heads north into the Lower East Side, via two one-way routes, before turning north and east to its initial terminus at Burns Commons.

Here is a map showing the planned lines. Cars will be stored underneath nearby highway 94.

This is the first time I have seen new streetcar construction. I’m used to seeing decades-old tracks, long buried under asphalt, being torn out. The idea that this line will be completed sometime within the next two years is an exciting prospect.

Here is a recently discovered video, showing the final day of service on Route 10, Milwaukee’s last streetcar line, on March 1, 1958:

On Sunday, we headed out to the East Troy Electric Railroad, to ride on the last remaining original interurban trackage in Wisconsin.

South Shore Line car 30, which is one that was never lengthened and modernized, was out that day, as was Twin cities Rapid Transit 1583. The two 4000s are out of service and being worked on, as are the two Milwaukee cars.

We rode 1583 last year (see our previous post Badger Traction, 2016).

This was our first time riding a South Shore Line car at East Troy, and they seem to do quite well there. The South Shore cars, which were capable of high speeds, used 1500 volt DC current on their home tracks, but now have to make do with just 600. This is not a problem, as top speed on this demonstration railroad is about 15-20 mph.

The South Shore cars are wider than the line was designed for, which means tighter clearances with the line poles. If you do travel there, be sure not to stick anything out the windows.

While tourist trolleys and railroad museums are important and deserve your support, I for one will be glad when Wisconsonites will be able to use a streetcar for its original intended purpose, which is to get from one place to another.

-David Sadowski

Don's Rail Photos: "4616 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1950, #1674, and completed by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1951, #1912, as TTC 4515, Class A8. It was rebuilt in 1991 as 4616, Class A15. It was sold to Vintage Electric Streetcar Co in 1996 and sold to KTL as 4616. It was painted in a Cincinnati Street Ry scheme."

Don’s Rail Photos: “4616 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1950, #1674, and completed by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1951, #1912, as TTC 4515, Class A8. It was rebuilt in 1991 as 4616, Class A15. It was sold to Vintage Electric Streetcar Co in 1996 and sold to KTL as 4616. It was painted in a Cincinnati Street Ry scheme.”

At left, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

At left, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

This was originally a smoking compartment.

This was originally a smoking compartment.

Car 30 still has its original mahogany wood, unlike the South Shore cars that were lengthened and modernized in the 1940s.

Car 30 still has its original mahogany wood, unlike the South Shore cars that were lengthened and modernized in the 1940s.

Recent Finds

This August marks 50 years since my first trip to Boston. This picture of MBTA 3295 was taken on Beacon Street on August 31, 1967, and shows the PCCs just as I remember them from that time. (Frederick F. Marder Photo)

This August marks 50 years since my first trip to Boston. This picture of MBTA 3295 was taken on Beacon Street on August 31, 1967, and shows the PCCs just as I remember them from that time. (Frederick F. Marder Photo)

Chicago Missouri & Western GP 40 3025, as it looked on September 5, 1987. If the CM&W logo looks surprisingly familiar, that's because it was copied from the CA&E. All of which should be no surprise, as the Venango River folks, who owned the South shore Line at that time, were involved. In fact, it was taking on this railroad that proved their undoing. (Bruno Berzins Photo)

Chicago Missouri & Western GP 40 3025, as it looked on September 5, 1987. If the CM&W logo looks surprisingly familiar, that’s because it was copied from the CA&E. All of which should be no surprise, as the Venango River folks, who owned the South shore Line at that time, were involved. In fact, it was taking on this railroad that proved their undoing. (Bruno Berzins Photo)

Here is a very interesting streetscape. It shows one of the old Third Avenue El stations in the Bowery, Manhattan in 1955, possibly after the line closed on May 12. Those two convertibles are Fords.

Here is a very interesting streetscape. It shows one of the old Third Avenue El stations in the Bowery, Manhattan in 1955, possibly after the line closed on May 12. Those two convertibles are Fords.

This is indeed a rare and historic photo. By comparison with a postcard view on Don Ross' web site, taken at exactly the same time, we can say with certainty that this shows Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria freight loco 25 pulling some coaches into Princeton, Illinois on July 31, 1908. This was the first CO&P train to this area.

This is indeed a rare and historic photo. By comparison with a postcard view on Don Ross’ web site, taken at exactly the same time, we can say with certainty that this shows Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria freight loco 25 pulling some coaches into Princeton, Illinois on July 31, 1908. This was the first CO&P train to this area.

Interior shots from long ago are fairly rare. This one shows Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC 42 in May 1967. Don's Rail Photos says, "42 was built by St. Louis Car in 1946, #1655, as SLPS 1767. It was sold as SHRT 42 in 1959 and converted to MU operation after purchase."

Interior shots from long ago are fairly rare. This one shows Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC 42 in May 1967. Don’s Rail Photos says, “42 was built by St. Louis Car in 1946, #1655, as SLPS 1767. It was sold as SHRT 42 in 1959 and converted to MU operation after purchase.”

Old-time railfanning was, unfortunately, often a series of "lasts." Here we see DC Transit 1101 at the Peace Monument in front of the Capitol building on January 27, 1962, the last day of service. Streetcars have since returned to Washington, D. C.

Old-time railfanning was, unfortunately, often a series of “lasts.” Here we see DC Transit 1101 at the Peace Monument in front of the Capitol building on January 27, 1962, the last day of service. Streetcars have since returned to Washington, D. C.

Here is a northbound five-car North Shore Line train at Great Lakes on December 30, 1951, with 706 at the rear.

Here is a northbound five-car North Shore Line train at Great Lakes on December 30, 1951, with 706 at the rear.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin woods 317 and 316 went to the end of the line on the Batavia branch on an Illini Railroad Club fantrip on October 16, 1955.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin woods 317 and 316 went to the end of the line on the Batavia branch on an Illini Railroad Club fantrip on October 16, 1955.

North Shore Line 733 is at Chicago Avenue on the "L" in June 1953.

North Shore Line 733 is at Chicago Avenue on the “L” in June 1953.

CA&E caboose 1001 at Wheaton, February 21, 1959. This was just prior to the end of freight service on the railroad. Passenger service ended on July 3, 1957, except for a few charters.

CA&E caboose 1001 at Wheaton, February 21, 1959. This was just prior to the end of freight service on the railroad. Passenger service ended on July 3, 1957, except for a few charters.

CTA trolley bus 9440, northbound on Lake Park at 56th, in October 1958. Trolley bus service ended on the 51st-55th route on June 21, 1959, exactly one year after the last Chicago streetcar ran. This was the beginning of a 14-year phase out of electric bus service.

CTA trolley bus 9440, northbound on Lake Park at 56th, in October 1958. Trolley bus service ended on the 51st-55th route on June 21, 1959, exactly one year after the last Chicago streetcar ran. This was the beginning of a 14-year phase out of electric bus service.

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

The Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railway started operations with 8 motors and 2 trailers built by the Niles Car Company in 1902, and 16 motors and 5 trailers built by the John Stephenson Car Company, also in 1902. Here are images of the Stephenson cars except for: CA&E 32 (rebuilt to flat car 1936), CA&E 40 (retired 1911), CA&E 50 (no image found), CA&E 58 (burned 1911).

Thanks for the CA&E photos!

Great stuff, as always.

Jack replies:

My plan is to eventually provide you with as complete a photographic record of the CA&E roster that you may use as you see fit. As I find new images that are worthy of your wonderful site I will provide them to you. The latest group of the original Stephenson order is missing a few of the cars that either were off the roster early or were not photographed much. Car 38 is, of course, the only car that was converted to rectangular end windows so I created an image that highlights the windows.

Thanks for the last two posts of The Trolley Dodger; both of them present a huge amount of information, images, etc., of properties that disappeared many years ago but still live thanks to your continuing efforts!

Good job!!

Chicago Trolleys

Work continues on our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys, which is now in the layout and proofreading stage. The expected publication date is September 25th of this year. We will keep you advised as things progress.

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Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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Badger Traction, 2016

The Minneapolis car at East Troy.

The Minneapolis car at East Troy.

Badger Traction is alive and well in Wisconsin, the Badger State. Although the Interurban era ended when the last North Shore Line train crossed the state line into Illinois in 1963, interesting things are happening here, with more to come. The new Milwaukee “starter” streetcar should be up and running in a few years.

Electric trains have run continuously between East Troy and Mukwanago, more or less, since 1907, although it was freight only from 1939 until 1973. Soon after, a museum operation began*, which unfortunately had its problems and got replaced with the current incarnation, the East Troy Electric Railroad. This is the last remaining original remnant of what was once a vast Wisconsin interurban network.

It’s been a few years since I went to East Troy, but I made the trip last weekend and as usual it was very enjoyable. The people are friendly, as they are all over Wisconsin, and the museum is headed in the right direction. Restoration work continues on various cars in their roster, their facilities have recently been improved, and they have a group of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers.

Our the way north, we made a short stop for lunch at the historic Franks Diner in Kenosha, where we spotted the Chicago tribute car out on the two-mile long loop. (See the video at the end of this post.)

Service at East Troy is usually two different trains running on an hourly basis, meeting up at a passing siding in the middle of the main line between the power house and the Elegant Farmer. This year, they are operating on an additional two miles of trackage east of the Elegant Farmer to a local park, near a lake. It’s a nice addition and makes for a picturesque ride, and the track is actually in better shape than the regular main line. (I was told they are replacing 250 ties on the main line this year.)

The day we were there, they were running the former Minneapolis car 1583, and a two-car train made up of 4000-series Chicago “L” cars. South Shore Line interurban car 30 was parked at the East Troy depot but did not operate. Still, I took a look inside and marveled at the new bucket seats that were recently installed.

The only trackage that they do not regularly operate now is a spur line to an industrial park in East Troy. I was told that this is operational, and was used last year to shuttle people back and forth when a new plant opened.

This is not a high-speed operation, being limited to 15 miles per hour. As our conductor explained, it’s more about the trip than how fast you get there.

Here’s what Don’s Rail Photos says about Twin Cities Rapid Transit Co. car 1583:

1583 was built at Snelling Shops in May 1913 as Class L-8. It was rebuilt in 1921, one-manned in 1928, and rebuilt in 1948. In 1954 it was retired and sold for use as a cottage in northwest Wisconsin. In 1981 it was acquired and rebuilding began by Paul Averdung as Duluth-Superior Transit 253 which was an almost identical car. It now operates on the East Troy Electric Ry.

One interesting feature of the 1583 is its air horn. This sounded different depending on which direction the car was going, more like a horn one way, and a whistle the other. Yet I was told the same horn is used in both directions, although I did not try to confirm that. I made sure to record several horn blasts on the videos at the end of this post.

While in Wisconsin, we spotted some interesting vintage cars, including a 1929 Ford Model A (a “Fordor,” natch), a 1938 Pontiac Touring Sedan, and a 1953 Studebaker (see pictures below).

After our train rides, we bought an apple pie that was baked in a paper bag at the Elegant Farmer, always a good place to stop by, and then had some great burgers at Fred’s Parkview in Burlington.

However, there was one more bit of railfan serendipity on our way back south, although we did not manage to snap a picture. We drove past a steam excursion train in Fox Lake, Illinois, headed up by Nickel Plate Road 765, with an impressive array of passenger cars, including some dome cars behind it. It was just leaving town as we got there.

Here’s what I found about this steam trip:

CHICAGO, May 4, 2016 – The second weekend in June will mark an historic occasion for rail fans with the return of the Nickel Plate Road’s locomotive No. 765 to the Chicago region.

On Saturday, June 11, this 400-ton historic steam locomotive will make an appearance at Franklin Park’s annual Railroad Daze festival followed by its first public excursion trip in the Chicago region in more than 20 years on Sunday, June 12.

Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765 will be on live-steam display for visitors to Franklin Park’s Railroad Daze from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. On Sunday, June 12, No. 765 will pull “The Varsity” an exclusive roundtrip excursion train between The Glen of North Glenview stop on Metra’s Milwaukee North Line and Janesville, Wis. The train will also stop for passengers at Metra’s Fox Lake Station.

“The Varsity” will feature vintage passenger cars from the 1930s-1950s and will include accommodations in standard coach, deluxe coach, and first class and dome car. Tickets can be ordered online or by calling 888-718-4253. Additional information and frequently asked questions can be read at fortwaynerailroad.org/faq.

“We are thrilled to bring the dramatic sights and sounds of no. 765 to the region,” said Bill Otter, president of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS). “We could not be more fortunate to be working with Metra, the Village of Franklin Park, the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad and the Iowa Pacific to bring this type of experience to thousands of area residents.”

Owned and operated by the FWRHS, no. 765 has operated passenger excursions and public exhibitions throughout the Midwest since 1979. The locomotive and train attract passengers from around the world for numerous sell-out excursions throughout the year. No. 765 was originally built in 1944, restored in 1979 and completely rebuilt in 2005 and is maintained by an all-volunteer crew.

“There is nothing like the sights, sounds and mechanical marvels of a steam locomotive in mainline service! Please join us as we relive a past era of railroading in the Chicago area, and throughout America. Welcome aboard!” stated R.R. Conway, Senior Trainmaster, Metra.

“The Varsity” will operate over the route of its Milwaukee Road namesake train, which originally ran between Chicago and Madison, Wis., until 1971. The No. 765’s excursion June 12 will be the first by a steam locomotive over portions of the route since 1953.

The visit to Railroad Daze and the excursion trip to Janesville are operated in partnership with Metra, the Village of Franklin Park, Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, Iowa Pacific and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS). In addition, the Indiana Harbor Belt and Norfolk Southern Corp are assisting in the logistics and transportation of No. 765 to and from the events.

The operation and ongoing maintenance of No. 765 is supported by donations, ticket sales and a membership base of around 1,000 supporters.

“These types of operations are incredibly complex, involving countless parties, organizations, railroads and individuals. All of them prove crucial to inspiring people with the power of the 765,” added Otter.

Additional excursions for No. 765 will be announced later this season.

Another Chicago-area trip using NKP 765 is planned for June 25 and 26.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t been to East Troy, or haven’t gone in a while, take my advice and make the trip. You’ll be glad you did.

The only thing that could have made our trip even better would have been to ride the Milwaukee car, which I still haven’t done. But as the Brooklyn baseball fans used to say, “wait ’til next year.”

-David Sadowski

PS- All the photographs in this post are mine unless otherwise noted.

*The original operation was called the East Troy Trolley Museum, and was run by the Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society. Upon leaving East Troy, their collection was dispersed and some cars went to the Illinois Railway Museum. I don’t believe there is any overlap with the current roster.

The Minneapolis car at the Elegant Farmer.

The Minneapolis car at the Elegant Farmer.

The Minneapolis car at the Elegant Farmer.

The Minneapolis car at the Elegant Farmer.

The main line runs southwest from Mukwonago to East Troy.

The main line runs southwest from Mukwonago to East Troy.

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The old station in East Troy serves as a museum.

The old station in East Troy serves as a museum.

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South Shore Line 30, which was built in 1926. In museum service, its pantograph has been replaced by a pole.

South Shore Line 30, which was built in 1926. In museum service, its pantograph has been replaced by a pole.

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Car 30 has new seats. I don't recall it ever looking this good on the South Shore Line.

Car 30 has new seats. I don’t recall it ever looking this good on the South Shore Line.

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The proprietor of the local ice cream parlor in East Troy is an avid supporter of the museum.

The proprietor of the local ice cream parlor in East Troy is an avid supporter of the museum.

A nice looking 1953 Studebaker at East Troy.

A nice looking 1953 Studebaker at East Troy.

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The 4000s head into a siding so we can proceed on the single track line.

The 4000s head into a siding so we can proceed on the single track line.

The Beulah stop once led to a popular resort that burned down in 1911.

The Beulah stop once led to a popular resort that burned down in 1911.

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A visitor from Scotland helps change the poles.

A visitor from Scotland helps change the poles.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

The new end of the line.

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At the Elegant Farmer.

At the Elegant Farmer.

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Chicago Rapid Transit 4420 and 4453 at the Elegant Farmer.

Chicago Rapid Transit 4420 and 4453 at the Elegant Farmer.

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The Elegant Farmer is always a good place to stop for a homemade apple pie, baked in a paper bag.

The Elegant Farmer is always a good place to stop for a homemade apple pie, baked in a paper bag.

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A stunning 1929 Ford Model A at Kopp's Custard in Greenfield, Wisconsin. (Diana Koester Photo)

A stunning 1929 Ford Model A at Kopp’s Custard in Greenfield, Wisconsin. (Diana Koester Photo)

(Diana Koester Photo)

(Diana Koester Photo)

The dog makes this picture. I think the owner said his names is Johnny. (Diana Koester Photo)

The dog makes this picture. I think the owner said his names is Johnny. (Diana Koester Photo)

A 1938 Pontiac Touring Sedan in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

A 1938 Pontiac Touring Sedan in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Fred's Parkview in Burlington, Wisconsin has great hamburgers.

Fred’s Parkview in Burlington, Wisconsin has great hamburgers.

NKP 765 at the Edgebrook Metra station on June 12, 2016. (Melvin Bernero Photo)

NKP 765 at the Edgebrook Metra station on June 12, 2016. (Melvin Bernero Photo)

In this mid-1950s view, Village of East Troy Railway freight motor M-15 is shown here in East Troy, Wisconsin, near the power station which now serves as the waiting room for the East Troy Electric Railroad museum operation. It was built by TMER&L in 1920 and is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Walter Broschart Photo)

In this mid-1950s view, Village of East Troy Railway freight motor M-15 is shown here in East Troy, Wisconsin, near the power station which now serves as the waiting room for the East Troy Electric Railroad museum operation. It was built by TMER&L in 1920 and is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Walter Broschart Photo)


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 141st post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 169,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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Remembering Newark’s PCCs

PCC 14 outbound at Orange St. Station on March 28, 2001.

PCC 14 outbound at Orange St. Station on March 28, 2001.

Today’s article is by guest contributor Kenneth Gear.  You’ve heard his name before, since Ken has generously loaned us many Railroad Record Club and other similar records from his collection, so that we could transfer them to audio CDs.  Thanks to Ken, we are well on our way towards our goal of making the entire RRC collection available once again.

But Ken is also an excellent photographer, with a particular fondness for the PCC cars that ran from 1954 to 2001 in the Newark City Subway.  I only rode the line once, in 1991, and you can see a picture I took here.  Last year, along with Ray DeGroote, I gave a program about the Newark and Rochester subways, which you can read about here.

You will also find an unofficial list there detailing where Newark’s PCCs ended up after they were retired.  Newark car 4 (ex-Twin Cities Rapid Transit 323) is now at the Illinois Railway Museum.

All the Newark PCC photos in today’s post are by Kenneth Gear.

-David Sadowski


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    Help Support The Trolley Dodger

This is our 105th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received 103,000 page views from nearly 30,000 individuals.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

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PS- As we approach our one-year anniversary next month, the deadline for renewing our premium WordPress account comes due in less than 30 days. This includes out domain name www.thetrolleydodger.com, much of the storage space we use for the thousands of files posted here, and keep this an ads-free experience for our readers. Your contributions towards this goal are greatly appreciated, in any amount.


CD Updates

The latest addition to our steam audio CDs (again, thanks to collector Kenneth Gear) features Hi-fi recordings made in late 1964, showcasing the last great days of Mexican steam:

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VALLE
Valle del Locomotora de Vapor (Valley of the Steam Locomotives)
Mexican Steam Railroading in Twilight, 1964
# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.95

A decade after mainline steam railroading had largely disappeared from the United States, it was still going strong in the Queretaro Division of the National Railways of Mexico. These Hi-Fi stereo recordings were made in the summer and fall of 1964, just before diesels took the place of steam in some of the last North American holdouts. This two-LP set, originally issued on a long-defunct record label in the 1960s, fits on a single CD and is a remarkable document of a vanished era.

Total time – 75:12


Our Twilight of Steam title (again, made possible thanks to the generosity of Kenneth Gear) has been expanded to three CDs, and now covers four LPs in this series, with nearly three hours of audio:

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TOS-123
Twilight of Steam
# of Discs – 3
Price: $24.95

Record #TOS-123:
The long out-of-print, thrilling audio counterpart to the exciting and controversial 1963 book The Twilight of Steam Locomotives by Ron Ziel. (Book not included.)

This collection includes LPs 1 through 4 on three CDs.

Railroads covered include the Reader, Virginia Blue Ridge, Southern Pacific, Bevier & Southern, Mobile & Gulf, Kentucky & Tennessee, Magma Arizona, the Mississippian, Graham County Railroad, Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, Denver & Rio Grande, East Broad Top, Reading, Canadian Northern, the Strasburg, the Burlington, Buffalo Creek & Gauley, Grand Trunk Western, Alabama Central, Valle de Mexico, Rockton & Rion, Duluth Missabe & Iron Range, and Great Western. These were among the last steam locos in regular service on North American railroads, in recordings made between 1958 and 1966.

Total time – 171:17


Remembering Newark’s PCCs

Most of my trips on the Newark City Subway (excepting fan trips) were not railfan photography outings. I rode for the fun of riding a PCC car on an interesting route. I might ride on the spur of the moment because my Amtrak or NJ Transit train wasn’t due for an a while. Sometimes when I had a free day I took a NJT Raritan Valley Line train from Dunellen to Newark Penn, bought a coffee, and rode to Franklin Avenue and back.

I did on occasion make a photography day out of a trip on the subway.  In my opinion there were only a hand full of good photography locations on the entire 4.3 mile length of the line. I tended to shoot these same locations over and over but I wish I would have taken photos at more stations.  I went where I knew I’d get good photos and be reasonably safe.

The locations were Norfolk Street, the only station I photographed at that was below street level in the old Morris Canal bed. Still visible was sections of the ramp that carried the Route 23 Central Avenue line up to street level. Buses replaced trolleys in 1947.

Orange Street was the location I went to the most. It is at street level with plenty of room to move around and even take broadside views of the PCCs as they crossed Orange Street, the only grade crossing on the subway. According to the April 1999 issue of RAILPACE both Orange Street and Norfolk Street are “the stops which could pose the greatest safety concerns as the surrounding areas at these locations are blighted”. I never felt threatened at either place, in fact my interactions with locals were always pleasant and usually we chatted about the trolleys and how they will be missed.

My second most photographed location is Davenport Avenue . I always enjoyed spending time here. It is in a nicely kept neighborhood at the entrance of Branch Brook Park. Elevated photos could be taken from a pedestrian walkway and there was a conveniently located set of vintage signals that, like the PCCs they governed, were on borrowed time. Here in March of 2001 I photographed motor flat # 5223, the only time I saw this car out on the line. This work car was made from Public Service composite car # 2683 in 1954. The car was originally built in 1917! The only other railroad equipment of that age I saw in regular service were the steeple cab locomotives on the Iowa Traction. These electrics seem to be able to stand the test of time!

My other photo spot was the end of the line at Franklin Avenue Station.  Here was located that wonderful loop track. I really enjoyed the sight and sounds of the PCCs rounding that impossibly tight curve, screeching and clawing their way from being outbound to being inbound. The loop was built around 1940 because the PCCs being single ended, needed a means of changing direction. The loop is now gone, Franklin Avenue Station is now called Branch Brook Park Station and , of coarse, the PCCs are long gone.

On August 24th 2001 I rode the Newark City Subway for the last time. That was the last day of PCC car service. The cars had been running since 1954, but it sure seemed to me that they still had a lot more life left in them. NJ Transit, to their credit, did a nice job of giving these cars a grand send-off. Car # 6 was painted in the grey paint scheme of Public Service Coordinated Transport. It looked great in it’s new shiny paint on that warm sunny day. It was quite a nice gesture for NJT to completely repaint a piece of equipment that only had one more day of revenue service.

This wasn’t only the end of the PCC era this was, after all, August of 2001. We all know what would happen on the 11th of the following month and railfanning the subway, or any place other place would never be the same.

-Kenneth Gear

This batch is from the first time I rode the Newark subway. It is also the only time I photographed the PCCs before they were equipped with pantographs. The occasion was an Electric Railroad’s Association fan trip that ran on May 24, 1987. In the morning we rode a farewell to the PATH K class cars and after lunch we rode the subway and toured the shop at Penn Station. My tripod was accidently left at home so I got very few useable photos of the shop. Somehow I managed to get a fairly good shot of the snow sweeper.

PCC 10 makes a photo stop at Davenport Avenue Station.

PCC 10 makes a photo stop at Davenport Avenue Station.

PCC 10 at Franklin Avenue station in Branch Brook Park. PCC 10 was built by St. Louis car in 1946.

PCC 10 at Franklin Avenue station in Branch Brook Park. PCC 10 was built by St. Louis car in 1946.

No. 10 at Norfolk Street. This station is where the connection to the 23 Central Avenue Line once left the subway by means of ramps.

No. 10 at Norfolk Street. This station is where the connection to the 23 Central Avenue Line once left the subway by means of ramps.

PCC 11, still in the Transport of New Jersey Bicentennial colors, is stopped at the soon to be replaced Orange Street Station. Here the subway crosses over the ex-DL&W Morris & Essex Line and the bridge is in need of replacement. To accommodate this work the station was moved across Orange Street to it's present site.

PCC 11, still in the Transport of New Jersey Bicentennial colors, is stopped at the soon to be replaced Orange Street Station. Here the subway crosses over the ex-DL&W Morris & Essex Line and the bridge is in need of replacement. To accommodate this work the station was moved across Orange Street to it’s present site.

PCCs being readied for the NJ Transit "Disco Stripes" paint job.

PCCs being readied for the NJ Transit “Disco Stripes” paint job.

A going away shot of PCC 15 in TNJ colors, inbound, leaving Franklin Avenue.

A going away shot of PCC 15 in TNJ colors, inbound, leaving Franklin Avenue.

PCCs 10 & 11 on the Franklin Avenue loop.

PCCs 10 & 11 on the Franklin Avenue loop.

Cars 10 & 11 during a photo stop at the Franklin Avenue station.

Cars 10 & 11 during a photo stop at the Franklin Avenue station.

Snow sweeper #5246 in the shop area of Penn Station. Number 5426 was built by Russell in 1921. It was built for the Trenton & Mercer County, Trenton Transit as number 51.

Snow sweeper #5246 in the shop area of Penn Station. Number 5426 was built by Russell in 1921. It was built for the Trenton & Mercer County, Trenton Transit as number 51.

Here is the next bunch of photos. Again these are from a fan trip. This time the trip was run by The North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society. All photos taken on April 22, 2000:

NJ Transit PCC 1 makes a photo stop at Davenport Ave.

NJ Transit PCC 1 makes a photo stop at Davenport Ave.

A wider shot of PCC 1 at Davenport Avenue.

A wider shot of PCC 1 at Davenport Avenue.

This is one of my favorite PCC photos. It shows car 15 seen from inside car 1 near Franklin Street. Number 1 is inbound while 15 is, of coarse, outbound.

This is one of my favorite PCC photos. It shows car 15 seen from inside car 1 near Franklin Street. Number 1 is inbound while 15 is, of coarse, outbound.

PCC 23 is outbound at Franklin Avenue, it will soon go around the loop track and become inbound (to Penn Station). The construction work in preparation of the new LRV cars is in evidence along the right of way here.

PCC 23 is outbound at Franklin Avenue, it will soon go around the loop track and become inbound (to Penn Station). The construction work in preparation of the new LRV cars is in evidence along the right of way here.

NJT PCC all electric PCC 1 at Norfolk Street Station "chartered" for a fan trip.

NJT PCC all electric PCC 1 at Norfolk Street Station “chartered” for a fan trip.

Car 1 is again in front of the fan's cameras as it poses for even more photos at Franklin Avenue. We made several trips of the entire subway.

Car 1 is again in front of the fan’s cameras as it poses for even more photos at Franklin Avenue. We made several trips of the entire subway.

Cars 1 and 19 pass at Davenport Avenue.

Cars 1 and 19 pass at Davenport Avenue.

The famous art deco headlight wings on PCC 25.

The famous art deco headlight wings on PCC 25.

After taking tons of photos of car 1, we toured the Penn Station subway shop.
Photos in the next bunch are all April 22, 2000:

Operator's controls of PCC No. 1

Operator’s controls of PCC No. 1

The trolley operator in this photo appears to be all business. He was the person who ran car 1 during our fan trip. He was more likely to be smiling at the end of the day because we passed the hat around and he got a pretty nice tip!

The trolley operator in this photo appears to be all business. He was the person who ran car 1 during our fan trip. He was more likely to be smiling at the end of the day because we passed the hat around and he got a pretty nice tip!

Brand new line car # 5420 (diesel powered)

Brand new line car # 5420 (diesel powered)

PCC 1 at Newark Penn Station.

PCC 1 at Newark Penn Station.

PCC 21 in the shop under Penn Station.

PCC 21 in the shop under Penn Station.

PCC 16 in the shop.

PCC 16 in the shop.

A wide view of car 21 and the surrounding shop area.

A wide view of car 21 and the surrounding shop area.

Car 25 and friends in the shop.

Car 25 and friends in the shop.

No tobacco chewing here! The sign in the shop area of Penn Station spells it out quite clearly.

No tobacco chewing here! The sign in the shop area of Penn Station spells it out quite clearly.

Here is the next bunch. All photos were taken on March 28, 2001 at Davenport Avenue Station:

PCC 12 and motor flat 5223 meet at Davenport Avenue.

PCC 12 and motor flat 5223 meet at Davenport Avenue.

Inside car 24.

Inside car 24.

PCC 12 inbound at Davenport Avenue.

PCC 12 inbound at Davenport Avenue.

NJT motor flat 5223. Originally built in 1917 as Public Service Composite car 2683. It was converted to a motor flat work car in 1954.

NJT motor flat 5223. Originally built in 1917 as Public Service Composite car 2683. It was converted to a motor flat work car in 1954.

Car 20 outbound at Davenport Ave.

Car 20 outbound at Davenport Ave.

Car 23 arrives Davenport Ave.

Car 23 arrives Davenport Ave.

PCC 24 inbound and 14 outbound meet at Davenport Ave.

PCC 24 inbound and 14 outbound meet at Davenport Ave.

PCC 24 inbound and 14 outbound meet at Davenport Ave.

PCC 24 inbound and 14 outbound meet at Davenport Ave.

PCC 12 and motor flat 5223 meet at Davenport Avenue.

PCC 12 and motor flat 5223 meet at Davenport Avenue.

All photos taken at Orange Street on March 28, 2001:

Car 17 inbound, Interstate 280 overpass in background.

Car 17 inbound, Interstate 280 overpass in background.

Car 17 rear view as it makes the Orange Street station stop.

Car 17 rear view as it makes the Orange Street station stop.

Car 17 again, crossing the subway's only grade crossing-- Orange Street.

Car 17 again, crossing the subway’s only grade crossing– Orange Street.

PCC 20 outbound.

PCC 20 outbound.

PCC 23 approaching the Orange Street Station. Former Otis Elevator building in background.

PCC 23 approaching the Orange Street Station. Former Otis Elevator building in background.

Car 24 outbound, showing the entire Orange street Station.

Car 24 outbound, showing the entire Orange street Station.

PCC 28 inbound at Orange Street.

PCC 28 inbound at Orange Street.

Here is the last batch of the PCC car photos. These were all taken on the last day of PCC car service on August 24, 2001:

PCC 6 outbound making the stop at Orange Street.

PCC 6 outbound making the stop at Orange Street.

PCC 28 in a wide view of the Orange Street grade crossing.

PCC 28 in a wide view of the Orange Street grade crossing.

Car 28 'rounds the tight curve of the Franklin Avenue loop on the last day of service for both the car and the loop trackage.

Car 28 ’rounds the tight curve of the Franklin Avenue loop on the last day of service for both the car and the loop trackage.

PCC 19 outbound, Orange Street.

PCC 19 outbound, Orange Street.

PCC 17 amongst the construction work still going on at Franklin Avenue/Branch Brook Park Station.

PCC 17 amongst the construction work still going on at Franklin Avenue/Branch Brook Park Station.

PCC 17 at Franklin Avenue re-named Branch Brook Park at this point.

PCC 17 at Franklin Avenue re-named Branch Brook Park at this point.

PCC 6 head-on at Orange Street.

PCC 6 head-on at Orange Street.

PCC 6 again crossing Orange Street.

PCC 6 again crossing Orange Street.

PCC 4 inbound. (Editor's note: This car is now at the Illinois Railway Museum.)

PCC 4 inbound. (Editor’s note: This car is now at the Illinois Railway Museum.)

The star of the show PCC 6 in it's brand new retro Public Service paint job. Crossing Orange Street.

The star of the show PCC 6 in it’s brand new retro Public Service paint job. Crossing Orange Street.

My last ride. The last time I rode a PCC on the Newark City Subway was in this car, Number 19. inbound to Penn Station. It would all be over soon!

My last ride. The last time I rode a PCC on the Newark City Subway was in this car, Number 19. inbound to Penn Station. It would all be over soon!

PS- Here are some scans of Newark Subway related documents from my files.
These are all from NJ Transit except the newspaper article:

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