Last trolley car clanged along York County’s street 75 years ago. No. 163 rolls today in museum

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Trolley No. 163 is seen running along York, Pa.’s, streets. That car still runs through the Central Pennsylvania countryside in Huntingdon County’s Rockhill Furnace. Also of interest: Clang, clang, clang went the trolley, as it rolled into Mount Wolf.

The last trolley car rolled on York, Pa.’s, streets 75 years ago today.

Allentown’s Joel Salomon of the Rockhill Trolley Museum flagged this big anniversary in York County’s transportation history.

“One York trolley car is preserved in operating condition having been restored by the Rockhill Trolley Museum, Rockhill Furnace, PA in southern Huntingdon County, about 90 miles from York,” he wrote.

He then provided this bit of history:

“Trolley car 163 was constructed in 1924 in Philadelphia, PA by J. G. Brill, the world’s largest trolley car builder. After the trolley operations were over in York, trolley car 163 was stripped of all seats and running gear and the body was transformed into a summer home north of York along the Conewago Creek. Here the car was positioned until it was flooded by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The car was completely flooded and it was no longer wanted by the owners. The car was donated to our museum and our museum volunteers prepared the car body for movement to the trolley museum in Rockhill Furnace, PA. Museum volunteers spent 17 years restoring the trolley back to operation, finishing in 1989, the 50th anniversary of the last year trolleys operated in York.”

Something I’ve wondered about: Was there a temptation to revive the trolley system two years later when World War II began and rationing and energy preservation became so pronounced? A partial answer is that the bus system, which spelled the demise of the trolleys, did the job, but I wonder if the trolleys were considered.

For years, the Rockhill trolley excursion has operated in tandem with the East Broadtop Railroad, a former narrow-gauge coal-hauling line.  The EBT has not run in recent years.

But the Rockhill Trolley Museum welcomes visitors, including those who might have ridden No. 163 as youngsters.

trolley7No. 163 makes a fairgrounds run. Here’s another view of  163 in action: York Railways Trolley No. 328, where are you?

trolley1Check out a slightly different view of the old club in this post.

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No. 163 in Rockhill, Huntingdon County.

trolley3A lot of restoration work awaits volunteers, seen in this photo and those below.

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trolley5Before restoration here. After restoration, below.

trolleyrockFor a YDR story on the 75th anniversary, see: York County trolleys.

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 A York Daily Record file photo from Rockhill Furnace. More info about No. 163 appears on the Rockhill Trolley website.

Also of interest:

Check out these posts on the York County trolley system, including its electric amusement parks.

*Photos courtesy of Rockhill Trolley Museum

 

 

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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