Thursday, May 28, 2015

Oh, Rochester!

Frank writes...

No, it's not a Jack Benny reference - my wife and I were in Rochester visiting family this past weekend so of course I had to stop off at the local trolley museum.  In this case it was the New York Museum of Transportation in Rush.  I only had about half an hour to spare, but NYMT member Charlie Lowe gave me a quick tour and an update of what's been happening there recently.  The big news is the arrival last year of the museum's first PCC, Newark car 7, which is identical to the Newark car IRM got last year.

The museum's ex-Philadelphia "Strafford" car 161 had finished with its runs for the day and the NYMT crew was working on a new barn track for the PCC.  The NYMT barn is actually an agricultural barn adapted for museum use; there's even a grain silo out back.  To the left is Northern Texas Traction 409, a wooden interurban parlor car trailer acquired some years back as a body.
NYMT has a small but rather historic collection of western New York cars in varying condition.  Outside a pair of bodies are stored under tarps, a rare Rochester streetcar trailer converted from an open car and the last surviving interurban car from the Rochester Lockport & Buffalo.  Indoors, besides the NTT car and a Philadelphia snow sweeper, is Rochester car 437, a 1904 Kuhlman semiconvertible.  Although a body, the car is fairly solid.
There's also a single-trucker body from Batavia, NY and a mostly-disassembled single-trucker from the Rochester city lines.  And then there's car 157, the only steel interurban car from the Rochester & Eastern, built in 1914 by Niles.  Its exterior has been largely restored to original appearance (part of the car is still in c1920s-era yellow livery applied in the 1970s) and it's been placed on correct MCB trucks.  It's a beautiful display piece and parts are on hand for eventual full restoration including a DB-131 contactor box just like the ones on our own 308 and 409.
And the car on the right in the below shot, next to the 157, is Elmira Corning & Waverly 107, a wood car built for that Southern Tier interurban line by Jewett in 1911.  Though retired in 1930 and converted for use as a cabin, it retained its original trucks (sans motors) and most underbody equipment right up until it was preserved in 1970.
The car's interior is stripped out and the contactor box, shown below, is pretty rough but a lot of it is still there and overall the car is quite a significant artifact.  Anyone have any idea what type of contactors these are?

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