On Friday I caught the Pittsburgh & Ohio Central local while riding the Rio open car to my assignment.
The past weekend was a very busy and hot time in Washington. Uh, Pennsylvania that is.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum celebrated its 50th year of running trolleys for the public. Three days of activities included a Friday luncheon for all who have supported the development and restoration projects.
The place was crawling with state and local politicians as well as company representatives, including Wabco, Bombardier Brookville, Swigger Coil and Giant-Eagle Supermarkets, to name a few.
Of course, after all of the food and speeches the trolleys hummed all afternoon to give folks an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the efforts.
My job on Friday was doing docent work at the Trolley Display Building, showing off the collection and answering questions.
Saturday was the public celebration with three trolley parades showcasing 16 of the nearly 40 cars in the collection that are roadworthy.
The parades were divided into Pittsburgh cars, Philadelphia cars, and work equipment plus others.
The day’s activities were an operating challenge for the staff in scheduling rush hour service with extra movements.
On Saturday I was again a docent enlightening the young and old alike. Actually, I was glad to be inside where it was less hot.
In the evening I attended a volunteer dinner serving plenty of good food and featuring acknowledgments to several veterans, including a couple who have more than 50 years of service.
After dinner, we pulled out a few cars just for fun. I was able to bring out the 1919 Cincinnati car that was once at Trolleyville and we enjoyed a moonlight cruise. Of course I shared the pleasure with other members and a couple visitors running the car.
Just a few days before the event, I purchased a new camera and I carried it all the time. But I rarely used it. I was just too busy.
I did make an effort to make photographs of work equipment and the debut of the newly renovated and re-gauged critter.
Sunday featured the annual classic auto show. More than 70 autos of every vintage were on display. On this day I had motorman/conductor duties operating the Red Arrow No. 78 round and round, filled to capacity almost every trip.
This car is a Brill 1931 vintage suburban car that’s a little rocket ship. I kept running out of railroad quickly.
All in all it was a very busy and hot weekend, But it was worth the effort. I understand we served nearly 2,000 guests.
I do enjoy the smiles on the youngsters and oldsters as they remember the trolleys of their past. Maybe you can make some memories of your own soon.
Article and Photographs by Alex Bruchac
The newly refurbished GE ‘Critter’ running trough Redman Wye.
The home built Pittsburgh Railway line car returning to the display Building after the parade
Boston Elevated Railways Ballast Car
A Pittsburgh Railway differential crane car that was built in Findlay, Ohio.