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March 23, 2013:

March 23, 2013:


            I got up around 9:00 am and got dressed I walked over to the 7-11 and bought some cereal and some milk. I took it back to my room for breakfast. After breakfast, I worked on this report for a little.


            Today, I would be visited the National Capital Trolley Museum. I got my stuff together and headed out. I caught a bus to the Addison Road Metro station. When I got there, I photographed a WMATA Orion 5 at the station.



            I then caught a westbound Blue Line train to L'Enfant Plaza and transferred to the Yellow line were I rode a train two stops north to Gallery Place where I transferred to the Red Line. A train arrived heading my way but after I rode a couple stops, I learned it was short turning at Silver Spring. I got off at NoMa Gallaudet U station and waited for the next train which arrived a few minutes later. I rode to Glenmont where I went to catch a Ride-On bus to Bonifant Road. I didn't have to wait long. When I boarded the bus, I found out the fare box wasn't working, so I got a mostly free ride!


            I got off the bus at Bonifant Road and started walking towards the Trolley Museum. I soon saw the tower near the museum that looks like a pine tree. A few minutes late, I could make out the familiar shape of a PCC. I could tell it was either 4602 or 4603. When I saw the car outside, I assumed it was running today. I soon got to the museum and paid my admission. I noticed PCC #1329 from The Hague and single truck car #1069 were running. I thought the Toronto PCC was out, and they were running three cars, but soon learned the Toronto PCC wasn't running.


            I decided to ride what was running anyway. I boarded #1069 for my first ride. 1069 is the oldest operational car at NCTM; having been build in 1907. After the car departed the visitors' Center, I photographed PCC 4603.



            As I suspected, I was riding on the museum's whole line. When we passed by where the old loop used to be, I could make out where the line was. There was a passing siding near the entrance to the old loop.


            The trolley continued down the old right of way until we passed the original passing siding. Just past the original passing siding was the new loop.


            A little while later, we returned to the visitors' Center. I photographed 1069 and 1329.




            I then went on a tour of the display barn and photographed the cars on display. One of the cars was Capital Transit sweeper #09 which they acquired from another trolley museum. Sweeper #09 is a sister to one of the cars lost in the 2003 car barn fire.







            A few minutes later, I went on a ride on PCC #1329. I learned that #1329 was built in 1971 making it the youngest PCC I've ever ridden. It is 20 years younger than PCC 4549 in Toronto which is now the second youngest PCC I've ever ridden. 1329 was also the first European PCC I've ridden.


            During the ride, I photographed the former right of was of the old loop.




            When the car returned to the Visitors' Center, I photographed 1329 inside and out.





            I watched a few silent movies. When it was time for the next trip, both 1069 and 1329 went out as there were many people wanting to ride. I photographed the cars.




            I decided to ask to see if I could get access to NCTM's maintenance barn. I told them that I was a member at the Halton County Radial Railway Museum and knew about the maintenance pit. After a couple minutes, a member from NCTM took me into the barn. I photographed various cars in the barn including Toronto PCC #4602, NCTM's recent acquisition; a car that once belonged to SEPTA. I learned that the ex SEPTA trolley was acquired from another museum in exchange for the trucks that used to be under Washington streetcar #0509; one of the cars lost in the 2003 car barn fire.








            I also photographed the body of Washington PCC #1540. After Washington abandoned streetcars in 1963, 1540 was one of several cars sold to Fort Worth, Texas for their mechanical parts to be used on cars of the Tandy City subway which closed in 2002. NCTM acquired the body years ago.




            1540 was sitting on trucks from another Washington PCC; 1512; the Silver Sightseer.  The Silver Sightseer was a one-of-a-kind PCC that carried tourists around Washington until the end of streetcar service. The Silver Sightseer was originally part of the National Capital Trolley Museum's collection until September 11, 1970 when an arsonist set it on fire. The car was sent to scrap afterwards, and the guilty party was never caught.


            I don't know for certain, but I think a member from NCTM might have been the arsonist based on what I heard. This person hated PCCs. In photos taken after the fire. I saw #1512 parked in between two PCCs. When the car was set on fire, the handbrake was released and the burning PCC rolled into one of the other PCCs which suffered only minor damage.


            Following the fire, this PCC hating member had the car run over by a construction vehicle before NCTM officially said that the car wasn't salvageable. Following that, he sent the car for scrap again without official consent from NCTM. However, NCTM did salvage some parts from the Silver Sightseer in the scrap yard.


            I then returned to the Visitors' Center and spoke with another NCTM member about streetcars. I told him about Toronto's new streetcars; the first of which was undergoing tests. He showed me a photo of him standing in front of a new streetcar for Washington DC.


            Later this year, Washington DC will open a modern streetcar line, so I'll have to go back in the future to ride it! I also found out that one of the Toronto PCCs will be out the next day so I opted to return. I then left the museum and walked up to Bonifant and Layhill Road and had lunch at a nearby McDonald's.


            After lunch, I caught a Ride-On Orion 5 CNG bus to the Rockville Metro station. I photographed it when I got off.



            I then boarded a southbound Red Line train. I got off at Metro Center and transferred to a train to Smithsonian station. I went to the building on American History and photographed various exhibits; many of which I photographed on my Washington-Lancaster trip in 2010.












This Pontiac has been to every National Park in the U.S.











There are more pictures from this building in my 2010 Washington-Lancaster trip report.





            After I left the museum I caught a train to L'Enfant Plaza hoping to see the Air and Space Museum, but it was closed when I got there. I returned to L'Enfant Plaza and caught a Blue line train to Largo Town Center. I then caught the last bus of the night to my hotel and had dinner at the nearby Wendy's.  I returned to my hotel and worked on this report some more. I also photographed a brochure from NCTM showing both Toronto PCCs operating.



            I went to a nearby McDonald's and used their Wi-Fi until they closed. I returned to my hotel. I set my alarm for 6:30 AM and called it a night.


Click here for the next part of my report:   Part 3