Friday, July 24, 2015

Visit to PTM

Frank writes...

Work recently took me to Pittsburgh, as it does occasionally, and I took the opportunity to stop by the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.  Bruce Wells, a friend who volunteers there and also writes a blog about goings-on at PTM, was kind enough to show me some of the progress they've been making.  I also got a chance to chat with Scott Davis and several other PTM volunteers.

This photo, taken in the PTM shop building, shows three of the biggest recent projects.  The first involved changing the track layout of the building, originally built with three tracks: a shop track down one side of the building and two closely-spaced storage tracks down the other side.  PTM has been extremely good at funding storage barns and within the past several years was able to get their entire collection into indoor storage, allowing them to replace the two storage tracks in this barn with a second shop track.  Part of this project was paving the floor in this section of the building.  The second project was installation of LED shop lighting, which was impressively bright and saves a good deal on power costs.  And the third project, of course, is the car itself: West Penn 832, the only Cincinnati curve-side car preserved intact and the newest product of that company preserved anywhere.
Car 832 had its body and trucks completely rebuilt by outside contractors and PTM volunteers have been working on rebuilding and reassembling its air and electrical systems.  Above is one of the car's K-75 controllers.  When I was there the car was due to be lowered onto its trucks within the week and they are hoping to do some initial test runs in the near future.  Quite a bit remains to be done, of course, including reassembly of the interior and wiring in the lights and heaters among other things, but the work done thus far is extremely impressive and the quick progress is exciting to see.

Other cars being worked on included Pittsburgh 4145, which was acquired from Trolleyville and was in the shop for some motor work, and Pittsburgh 1138, the oldest preserved PCC from PTM's hometown street railway, which was up on jacks to have its wiring examined.
And Bruce showed me this too: a car card made from some original advertising images I had sent  him a couple of years ago.  He is a very accomplished PhotoShopper and has created a number of fascinating vintage ad cards for cars at PTM based off of originals.  This one was made by rearranging a magazine ad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Department of Corrections:
I think the C&LE hi-speed cars (4 in existence) are slightly newer than West Penn 832.