Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Visit to Washington

Frank writes...

Over the weekend business took me to Washington - Pennsylvania, that is.  The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is one of the more successful trolley museums in the country and has been very good at putting their collection under cover, drawing school groups, attracting business from parties and business organizations, and generally raising their profile as a major tourist attraction in the Pittsburgh area.  PTM is unusual in that it operates on 5'2.5" gauge, which was used by most Pittsburgh and Philadelphia area traction lines.

Bruce Wells is one of their regular volunteers and maintains a blog of activities at PTM here.  He was nice enough to show me some of the progress being made at PTM including restoration work on their West Penn curve-side car, the only Cincinnati curve-side that was preserved intact, as well as a major effort he's engaged in to document, preserve and reproduce advertising cards.  As shown above, I also got to go for a ride on the museum's open car.  This car was originally from Rio de Janeiro and, when in service, would have looked quite a bit like IRM's Rio open car.  Ours would need a bit of work to look this nice, though!
Another highlight was seeing the new Artifact Preservation Building going up at PTM, shown above framed out.  This building is about 40'x220' and is designed to house the museum's collection of spare parts - motors, control parts, air brake and mechanical components, you name it.  The middle of the building will have two storage tracks on 10' centers for storage of "long-term project" cars (the building will not be connected to the rest of the museum's trackage) while the walls will be lined with heavy-duty shelving.  The entire building will be paved to ease access to stored items.  Along one side of the building (to the right in the photo) is an open-sided lean-to where trucks can be stored, out of direct weather but also easily accessed if needed.  It's a well-planned building with an enviable purpose, that of safely housing the spare parts that are so important to keeping museum cars running.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good review of PTM. One minor correction: The new building will eventually have a track connection, but it will not have trolley wire, and thus will be only used for long term storage of cars that are not on public display.