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The Connecticut Electric Railway Museum Trip and Visit Part 2 6/28/2015

by Chris Guenzler

Robin and I took a second ride, this time on New Orleans Public Service 836.

We had brake problems on this trip.

We did make it back to the front of the museum. Now to explore the grounds.

Connecticut Transit model 870 bus 608 built by Grumman Transit in 1979.

Montreal Tramways open observation car 4 built by Montreal Tramways Company in 1924. It was similar to Numbers 1 and 2, but had steel underframes, were one foot longer and only had five back-shaded white lamp on each bow and no beaver plaques. The cars seated 50 persons, had four motors and standard air brakes. In the late 1930's they were equipped with dynamic brakes for use on the mountain line up Mt. Royal.

In 1943, all trucks and electrical equipment were "borrowed" for the war effort, being used under home built cars 1135 to 1138. Upon going back in public service in 1945, the cars were re-equipped using trucks with 30 inch wheels. In 1945, a three-window front windshield was installed on all four of the observation cars to answer the demand of the operating personnel. These detracted somewhat from the car's appearance and cut the breeze on the passengers in the lower seats. 4's was removed after arriving at the trolley museum.

While the observation cars used two routes before 1956, one known as "Park Avenue to Snowdon" (the original route of 1910) and in the late 1940's designated "Pare Lafontaine to Cote-des-Neiges" which covered the areas east of Park Ave. From 1956 to end of service, the route was via St. Antoine, Park Avenue, Laurier Billingham, Maplewood, Decelles, Queen Mary, Girouard, Craig Street and Atwater. Regular tours ended in 1957 although charters were run in 1958. The four cars were withdrawn that fall.

At first the Montreal Commission did not wish to sell the cars outside Canada and 4 was sold to H.J. O'Connell, a Montreal collector in 1959. However, his collection was seized for non-payment of taxes and Connecticut Electric Railway Association bought 4 from the Canadian Federal Tax Court, bringing the car to Connecticut in late winter 1967. It should be noted that to load the car in Montreal, our rigging company working with the Canadian National Railway, closed one track of their main line to Toronto so cranes could reach 4 on H.J. O'Connell's property and lift it over a fence to place her on a flat car. The next day there was heavy snow and when the car arrived in Connecticut, there was 4 feet of snow in her. Since 1967, 4 has been a great crowd pleaser on hot summer days and under the lights of Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights. She ran in Montreal for 34 years and now has given that, and more years of service at the museum.

Boston Elevated Railway streetcar 5645 built by the Laconia Car Company in 1923. In 1920, the Boston Elevated Railway faced a major car problem. It still had 738 largely decrepit and ancient and small 25 foot "box" cars on its roster. A new type of one-man, high-capacity trolley was needed and fast. The company's design engineers turned out a design that would become known as the Type 5 semi-convertible trolley and the best known car Boston Elevated ever had. For the busy subway, despite each car having 16 transverse-reversible seats and 4 longitudinal corner seats of wood slat construction for 48 passengers, its standing capacity was whopping 89 for a total capacity of 137 passengers.

1947 saw a major change in the operation of transit in Boston and a new owner for 5645. On August 29, 1947, the private Boston Elevated Railway passed from the scene and the public Metropolitan Transit Authority took control. In 1950-1952, 48 cars, including 5645, had its original bar couplers replaced with Tomlinson automatic type from junked Type 4s for operation in the Tremont, Boylston, and Huntingdon Avenue subways and to permit them to tow or be towed by PCCs.

Starting in 1951, the first of the Type 5 fleet of 471 cars was scrapped. By 1958 nine Type 5s were left working out of Watertown Car House. During the last couple of years, William E. Wood operated for C.E.R. and other friends trips on car 5645 over all trolley lines that remained in Boston. He also placed a bid offer for the car which was accepted in April 1959 and moved to the Everett Shops on coming off its last public service trip. A short time later 5645 was moved to East Windsor.

Fair Haven & Westville Railroad Company 15-bench open car 355 built by the J.G. Brill Company in 1902. On May 23, 1904, the FH&WRR Company was conveyed to the Consolidated Railway. This was only five days after the Consolidated Railway was formed to take over all of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad owned or leased street railways. During the existence of Consolidated Railway, May 18, 1904 to May 31, 1907, car 355 carried on with no changes. On that latter date, all property rights and franchises were merged into the New Haven Railroad. On February 26, 1910 the New Haven Railroad sublet all its street railroad properties to a new company, The Connecticut Company.

Over the next couple of years, 355 would receive the iconic Connecticut Company yellow paint, red letters and gray roof (more or less), but it still operated as 355. With all the companies which made up Connecticut Company, the numbers were all mixed up on the revenue cars, so on August 1, 1915 a new numbering system was introduced to replace the muddle. With the change, 355 became 663 of the New Haven Division and would operate in New Haven for 32 years. During this same period, sloping metal was installed over the bumpers up to the dasher face to try and prevent riders standing on the bumpers when riding to the "Bowl" games. Charters and the Yale Bowl operation from the railroad station would be her main service in her later years.

The Connecticut Company did not quite change the New Haven Division over to buses when World War II came. Once more the open cars rolled whenever the weather allowed. With the war's end, the Connecticut Company wanted to get rid of trolley cars and by 1947, buses began to arrive. On November 22, 1947, the last Yale Bowl run came about for a football game between Hillhouse High and West Haven High. Trolley service ended on September 25, 1948 in New Haven and that same year, car 633 came to Connecticut Trolley Museum.

Springfield Electric Railway 16 built by Wason Manufacturing Company in 1926. The Springfield Electric provided service from the Boston & Maine Railroad station in Charlestown, New Hampshire with the industrial town of Springfield, Vermont, which on the way it crossed the Connecticut River using its toll bridge and a route along the twisting Black River, ending its trip in front of the Adnabrown Hotel.

In its later years, Car 16 was painted aluminium had the seats removed and most of the windows (except at the ends) replaced by plywood. Connecticut Trolley Museum member Karl P. Hartman bought 16 in 1956 and moved it to East Windsor the same year.

Two museum views.

Hartford Bradley International Airport people mover built by Ford in 1976.

Ponemah Mills Railroad line car "C", which was converted from electric locomotive S-193 built by the railroad in 1895.

Delaware & Hudson Railroad two-bay hopper car 2782 built in 1940.

New Jersey Transit PCC car 15 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1946.

Boston & Maine Railroad wooden box car X-1.

Chessie System two-door boxcar 28853 built by Pullman-Standard Boxcar Company in 1959.

Dallas Railway and Terminal double ended PCC trolley 625 built by Pullman-Standard in 1945. It served here until 1959 then became Boston Metropolitan Transit Authority 3333 from 1959 to 1964, then Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority 3333 1964 to 1978 and moved to the museum that year.

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority PCC car 3003, nee Boston Elevated 3003, built by Pullman-Standard in 1941.

Corbin Cabinet Lock Company (New Britain, Connecticut) battery-powered steeplecab switcher E2 built by the Baldwin-Westinghouse Company in 1907. It served here until 1971 when it was acquired by the museum.

Dismantled freight engine.

Chicago Elevated Railway rapid transit car 4284 built by Cincinnati Car Company in 1922

Trolleys of unknown origin.

Hartford Electric Light Company switcher 1 built by General Electric in 1949.

Oshawa Railways 53 ton steeple cab switcher 18 built by Baldwin-Westinghouse Company in 1918. It was ordered by the Auburn & Syracuse Railroad of New York State as their 105 and delivered on July 20, 1918. However, they sold it in April 1919 to the Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission who placed it in service as their locomotive E21. For a couple of years, E21 was very busy on a large canal project.

From October to December 1921, E21 was loaned to the Sandwich, Windsor & Aucherstburg Railway of Windsor, Ontario but was returned to the Commission. In 1924, E21 became 2 on the Toronto & New York Radial Railway. Three years later that company was taken over by the Toronto Transport Commission and 2 was sold on February 7, 1927 to the Canadian Westinghouse Corporation to be refurbished and resold.

Later in 1927 she would become the property of the Niagara, St. Catharine's & Toronto Railway as their 18. This operation in the Niagara frontier was to become one of the last trolley operated railways in North America, with 18 working for them from 1927 to 1960, some 33 years. With the NS&T being cut back, her glory days were not over. The Canadian National Railway would move her in 1960 to Oshawa Railway just east of Toronto. With large auto plants in that city, 18 would have four more years of switching until 1964. At the close of electric operations in Oshawa, Win Manchester, a museum member bought her and moved 18 on its own wheels from Canada to the Connecticut Trolley Musem's loading ramp in Melrose. It made a short truck trip to the museum on December 12, 1964.

Trolleys of unknown origin.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railroad interurban car 303 built by Niles Car & Manufacturing Company in 1906. It started as Aurora Elgin & Chicago (Wheaton, Illinois) from 1906 to 1922 then Chicago, Aurora & Elgin from 1922 to 1962 before going to Trolleyville, U.S.A.(North Olmsted, Ohio) from 1962 to 2006. It then moved to Lake Shore Electric Railway (Cleveland, Ohio) from 2006 to 2009 and finally went to Connecticut Trolley Museum from 2009 to the present.

Unknown trolley.

Museum view.

Fire engines inside the Connecticut Fire Museum.

Unknown buses.

Connecticut Company streetcar 1739 built by Wason Manufacturing Company in 1918.

Connecticut Company 1739 built by Wason Manufacturing Company in 1918 and Connecticut Company box motor 0206 built by the company in 1910.

Connecticut Company box motor 0206 built by the company in 1910.

Connecticut Company streetcar 1326 built by Osgood Bradley in 1910 as 30-foot closed wooden car 550 with side seating. It was re-numbered 1326 on August 5, 1915 during a renumbering program across the entire system. An official Connecticut Company roster of the early 1930's shows that cars 1320 through 1334 were located in Waterbury, Connecticut until June 19, 1937. At that time, 1326 was then moved to New Haven where it operated there to the end of the trolley service in 1948. After 38 years of service with the Connecticut Company it was acquired by the Connecticut Trolley Museum.

Bangor & Aroostook Railroad wooden caboose C-47 built by American Car & Foundry in 1915.

Capital Transit (Washington, D.C.) snow sweeper 010 built by the McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Company in 1899.

Philadelphia & Reading Railway coach 940 built by Osgood-Bradley in 1903.

Swift Refrigerator Line (SLRX) refrigerator car 25015 built by General American in 1954.

Museum view.

Boston & Maine Railroad box car 76426 built by Pullman-Standard in 1957.

United Tank Car Lines (GATX) tank car 75701 built by the company in 1920.

United States Army 45 ton centre-cab switcher 7926 built by General Electric in 1944.

Reading Railroad steel caboose 94024 built by International Car Company in 1944.

New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad flat car 414944.

Experitmental railbus LEV 2 with a body based on the Leyland National bus. It was used for trials and exported from England to the United States in 1980 as there were hopes to expand into the USA market but that did not come to fruition.

Museum view. With that we walked back to the Teresalee Bertinuson Visitor Center where I bought a T-shirt and gave the girl one of my cards.

One last view of the museum. A special thank you to the Connecticut Trolley Museum for having us here today. Next we drove to Springfield, Massachusetts for our next part of the trip.