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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Work Session Scheduled for April 27 for JTC #311 and NJT #10

Johnstown Traction Company #311 and former NJ Transit PCC Car #10 are the focus of the next work session scheduled for Saturday, April 27.

Tremendous progress has been made over the past two months with JTC #311, but much more work remains.  Your help and support is essential to keeping this project moving.

Further work is needed to make NJT #10 operable for its owner so it can depart for its new home and be able to operate under its own power when it arrives.

If you plan to attend Saturday, please contact Joel Salomon (jdstrolley@ptd.net) if you would like to help with JTC #311, or Bill Monaghan (rty-1267@comcast.net) if you would like to help with NJT #10.

Thank you for your dedication and support of the Rockhill Trolley Museum!

Public Service Coordinated Transport #6 is an Award Winner (and other PCC related projects).

Railways To Yesterday, Inc., operators of the Rockhill Trolley Museum, recently confirmed that Public Service Coordinated Transport PCC Car #6 was the recipient of the TRAIN (Tourist Railroad Association INC) 2012 Electric Traction Award. 

Car #6 is the third vehicle in the museum collection to receive this distinction, the other vehicles being Johnstown Traction Company #355 in 2007 and York Railways #163 a number of years ago.

While the rehabilitation of car #6 was not a complete, ground-up restoration; nor was the car returned to like new condition, what made it unique was the tremendous effort and accelerated timeframe that transformed the vehicle from a deteriorated relic to a great looking and operating car again.  Within 5 weeks of the car's shipment from New Jersey, museum volunteers had made the car reliably operable again.  Three months later, body and paint work both inside and out had been completed in time for the car to be rolled out for a special ceremony commemorating both the return of the car to operation and marking 10 years since the end of PCC service in the Newark City Subway.

Car #6 has its minor flaws, dents, and other signs of many decades of use.  But, we'd like to think it is preserved as an accurate representation of its years of service in New Jersey; not pristine, but well maintained and looking good.  Perhaps the greatest compliment came when an individual who had a long history with the cars in Newark visited the museum, inspected #6, and stated "it's not overdone...it looks just like it did in Newark". 

Once again, my compliments to the all-volunteer PCC Car #6 Restoration Crew and the others who worked behind the scenes to make its preservation possible.

 Car #6 departs Penn Station on 8-16-2001, one week before its retirement.  Photo compliments of Bill Volkmer.

Car #6 picks up a passenger at Park Avenue in 1954.  Photo compliments of Bill Volkmer.
PCC Work in Progress and Planned on other vehicles
Awards are great, but there's no time to rest, there is work to be done!  

New Jersey Transit PCC Car #10

Work continued on this car's charging system on March 15.  Fred Wagner, Nicholas Brightbill, and Matt Nawn spent some time trying to get the voltage regulated properly, but more work remains.  Jerry Evans and George Rich, which assistance from Matt Nawn and Bill Monaghan, did some further work during the 4/6/2013 work session, but issues still remain and the MG set itself may be the source of the problems.  Getting this car operable again will enable its owner to ship it to its new home. 


Thanks to the recent substantial contributions by the Friends of Philadelphia Trolleys as well as many individual donors, the long planned carbody restoration of this popular vehicle will commence in late spring of this year.  The goal for completion is the Summer 2014 PCC Car Day at the Rockhill Trolley Museum.  Updates will be posted here as the car is transformed back to circa 1959 PTC appearance in the familiar green and cream colors.  The work will be performed by the same contractor crew that restored the carbody of SEPTA #2168 at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum under the experienced supervision of Harry Donahue.

This is the color scheme #2743 will wear after its restoration, but we plan to avoid smashing in the doors.  Photo by R. Vible, RTY Collection.


Friday, April 5, 2013

An Electroliner/Liberty Liner rides again in 2013?

One of the most popular vehicles (or at least the one most asked about) at the Rockhill Trolley Museum took a major step towards being operable again, thanks to an anonymous friend of the museum who recently provided a set of new resistor grids for one end of the train, replacing the badly deteriorated set that has sidelined the train since last spring.

The grids are in the B-section...but only temporarily

Current museum priorities are focused on completing the heavy overhaul of JTC #311 in 2013, but once this work is completed, more time can be devoted to the Liner.

While the Liner will never be an "everyday" part of the operating fleet, it will certainly be a welcome sight to see it back in operation for special events.  The train emerged from 14 years of storage in 2010 as it was towed for a special trip and subsequently ran under its own power in 2011 before having to be sidelined again in 2012. 

2013 marks 50 years of public operation at what is now known as the Rockhill Trolley Museum.  2013 also marks 50 years since the abandonment of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.  It would be most appropriate to see one of these famous and celebrated trains run again this year.

We look forward to seeing a sight like this again soon.  So do the budding young fans in the photo!

My sincere thanks and appreciation to the volunteers and friends who make things like this possible!

Best wishes,
Matt Nawn