Trolleyology: McKeesport and West Chester

Wed. Apr 7, 2021 at 7:00pm EDT
All Ages
$0.00 - $10.00
All Ages
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$0.00 - $10.00
All Ages
Event Description
Trolleyology: McKeesport and West Chester

Join PTM staff, volunteers, members, and friends of the Museum for our Zoom series, Trolleyology! These programs feature Pennsylvania transit history topics and tales of our collection that you can experience from home. Registration is required but free of charge. Donations are welcome and encouraged. Limited space is available!

This program will feature two parts focused on each side of PA.

Part 1: Pittsburgh to McKeesport by Trolley

Member Russ Jackson will show the video "Pittsburgh To McKeesport By Trolley". The outbound trip will be shown using slides and the return trip will be 30 minutes of digitized 8mm film taken with a tripod-mounted camera adjacent to the trolley motorman. With its cross-country running, Russ always liked to consider the route 56 as an interurban line, taking one to a small city that once hosted 5 or 6 separate trolley lines. That such a trolley line existed as long as it did is quite remarkable.

Part 2: Turnpikes and Trolleys: The Line to West Chester

The suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia, one of the country’s largest cities, for the most part had their county governments situated near major roads, often called turnpikes, or ‘pikes’ (e.g. Baltimore Pike, the Lancaster Pike, the Bethlehem Pike). The roadway featured in this video is the West Chester Pike. The magic of electricity made it possible to enhance the use of these roadways by building trolley routes along them, thus finally superseding the sole use of live horsepower for transportation. The same was true of many country roads. Typically county seats had several trolley routes radiating from them, making them more easily accessible from country villages and towns by the means of the most modern method of local transportation then in existence, the electric trolley. The majority of the turnpike and country road trolley lines operated at speeds of 30 miles per hour or less, but some were designed for 50 to 60 miles per hour speeds. The line to West Chester was among the latter, and had a much longer life than most. Therefore rail system historians were able to capture operations of that line on color film. This video is a 70+ year look back into that era.

A Question & Answer session and discussion will follow the program.

For the best experience, we recommend downloading Zoom in advance.

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Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum 1 Museum Road
Washington, PA 15301