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 Post subject: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 45
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I can finally break the news on this one. A former Wilkes-Barre trolley, a 1924 Brill and the only known survivor of the line, has been entombed in a cabin for decades but is ready to make her escape. She is in surprisingly good condition as the owner intentionally built a roof over the car in a way that would protect it and not damage the body. Some later modifications will need to be reversed but she is very complete and far from a basket case.

A new non-profit group, Anthracite Trolleys, Inc, has been formed and volunteers are scrambling to save the car from the torch. The owners of the cabin have promised the car to the group free of charge, provided that the group demolishes the rest of the structure and clears the lot that it sits on. The catch is that this all has to happen by the end next year or all bets are off. Some preliminary work has already been done to prepare the site but this will be an expensive move and of course the cost to demolish the rest is also a concern (they need about 30k to remove the car and clear the lot).

Anthracite Trolleys, Inc, will be working in cooperation with the Electric City Trolley Museum Association and the car will operate at the museum in Scranton once restored. If you are considering making a donation, now would be the time to do it as they really need to get the car off the lot and moved to a secure location.

Donations may be sent to:

Project 790
c/o Emil Augustine
282 Pollock Drive,
Pittston, PA 18640

https://www.timesleader.com/news/719208 ... st-trolley


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 615
To be clear, this trolley has until January 1, 2020? That is a pretty generous timeline.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 45
Actually December 31st, 2019, but yes. The group has a contract with the owner for removal and that is the drop dead date.

The car is thankfully along a paved road but on a fairly aggressive slope that descends towards a pond, so as you can imagine there will be some limitations as to when the car can be extracted safely. The east coast has gotten a lot of rain in the past few weeks and the ground is saturated; if the group doesn't have enough capital to extract the car once the ground has firmed up (and before the snow falls), the whole timetable gets shifted to 2019.

I am sure there are more than a few individuals here who can attest to how fast a year can go by with something like this, and I know the group is very thankful to the owners for accepting a reasonable timeline.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 45
Some color footage of the 700 series cars by the late Ed Miller and a photo of car 790 still showing its original paint scheme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOHrCKMxXoc

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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 880
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
This looks to be a photo of a car from the same series:
Image
http://thursdaynightrr.blogspot.com/2010/11/wilkes-barre-trolley-wayne-sittner.html

Newspaper article about the project:
https://www.timesleader.com/news/719208/group-aims-to-rescue-restore-wilkes-barres-last-trolley


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5621
Olin -

Not sure the number of the car in your referenced photo. I did a bit of checking on the internet and found a book entitled "Wyoming Valley Trolleys" by Harold E. Cox. The discovered Wilkes-Barre Transit #790 that is part of the cabin, came from Pottsville, which I assume is also in Pennsylvania. Eight cars were ordered from Brill in April of 1924 and were numbered 302-309 on that system. The 8 cars were then sold second hand to Wilkes-Barre and numbered 776-790 (even numbers only). If the cars were numbered consecutively from their Pottsville numbers then 790 was the former #309. Mr. Cox goes on to say that W-B #778 was scrapped in March of 1948 while number 784 was wrecked in May of 1949 and cannibalized. He says the rest of the series was "scrapped in November of 1950". Obviously, he got that last fact just a bit wrong!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:00 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 45
Les Beckman wrote:
Mr. Cox goes on to say that W-B #778 was scrapped in March of 1948 while number 784 was wrecked in May of 1949 and cannibalized. He says the rest of the series was "scrapped in November of 1950". Obviously, he got that last fact just a bit wrong!

Les


Technically true, the cars were indeed sold for scrap but the body was then resold by the scrapper. I believe there is either a photo or video of the other cars being scrapped, if I can find it I will post it. No. 790 would have also worn a larger headlamp when she belonged to the East Penn Railway.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:17 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:17 am
Posts: 45
From the TMNY archives, Louis Cohen & Sons scrapyard, Hanover Twp, 8/11/1948

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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:05 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5621
Looks as if there was a steamer in there for scrapping too.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 535
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Scranton505 wrote:
From the TMNY archives, Louis Cohen & Sons scrapyard, Hanover Twp, 8/11/1948


It's photos like this one that make my heart ache. Just think of the K controllers, air compressors, resistance grids, trucks & motors, etc., that will be cut-up for whatever ultimate re-use. Sigh.

Thanks!

_________________
Jim Vaitkunas
Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5621
Jim -

A common sight in 1948, and for a number of ensuing years. In 1948, organized railroad preservation was in its infancy. What's amazing is what WAS saved.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2314
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I am going to say something totally cruel.

In 1948, if you had taken the scrap value of one of those cars, and invested it in some mix of stocks, you would be crazy-ass rich today. So, buying more of these things for parts, etc., as much as we wish we could just reach back in the time machine of inventory, would have been a major sacrifice.

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 535
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
softwerkslex wrote:
In 1948, if you had taken the scrap value of one of those cars, and invested it in some mix of stocks...


Oh, I don't deny what you say. I was just ruminating. Just sayin' as the millennials would say today

Luckily, there were men working for Twin City Rapid Transit at the company's main shops who were allowed to salvage certain parts right before the car bodies were turned on their sides and burned. Later, the parts emerged from basements and garages and used to restore a couple of our historic streetcars.

Thanks!

_________________
Jim Vaitkunas
Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Philadelphia, PA
W-B 790 is a Boston type 5 clone although the Anthracite cars (Reading, Pottsville and Wilkes-Barre) had Brill trucks and the Pottsville (later W-B e.g. 790) cars had (have) curved ends instead of the 3-piece ends favored in Boston.

Before someone sees this as a pipe dream, remember Electric City has already rescued Scranton 1903 Brill 324 from a restaurant in the Poconos, and is rebuilding 505, a 1929 Osgood-Bradley Electromobile, which had been stored outdoors for 50 years.

324's body is restored and it's on rebuilt 27G trucks with motors and is having wiring and brake piping installed. 505 has been in a metal fabricating shop getting new ends and bolsters. Courtesy of IRM's Pullman collection, we have a copy of the original drawings.

To see NEPA trolleys in regular service (although Pottsville's too early), I recommend Transit Gloria Mundi's video, Ed Miller's Anthracite Traction. Ed shot the movies and narrates the video.

http://www.ectma.org/

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Wilkes-Barre trolley found - but help needed ASAP
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:07 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 880
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies / PNW
Quote:
Not sure the number of the car in your referenced photo.

Les- you were right. I have a copy of "Pennsylvania Trolleys in Color, the Anthracite and Pennsylvania Dutch Regions" where the web linked photo was also found, in print. The car in that Frank Watson photo is #774, which is different from the other East Penn cars (along with car 772) which were a part of an order of Boston Type 5s. These two cars had the angled front ends, just like in Boston. I presume these two cars had the same trucks and other parts on the Boston cars, unlike their round-ended family members in the Pottsville classes below and above in numbers.

Perhaps, after the 790 is restored, the Electric City group can convince Seashore to give them a long term loan of Type 5 car 5734, currently abandoned on a defunct track in a Boston subway. Then a simple paint job renovation could create a replica Wilkes Barre car, which would be nicely numbered 773. Well, one can dream anyway.


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