Jersey Shore & Antes Fort Railroad 3
This wonderfully decrepit wood car body represents one-half of the passenger fleet of the tiny (4.75 mi) Jersey Shore & Antes Fort Railroad.
With a fleet of two cars 1 & 3 provided the connection between Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania (east of Willamsport) and the Pennsylvania Railroad connection at Antes Fort. The line, hauling both passengers and freight, served as an additional destination in the summertime. The company itself lasted little more than 20 years (1904-1925) but the real story here is the car body.
When the company folded, its owners took both cars to a site along Pine Creek, north of Jersey Shore, and fashioned them into a vacation residence (read: hunting camp). Thus saved from the scrapper, the cars were used until June 1972, when Hurricane Agnes brought extensive flooding to the Pine Creek valley. The cars broke loose from their foundation and floated away. They came to rest near a railroad bridge, which badly damaged them. The remains of both cars were discovered by Jeff Pritchard who, with Paul Vassallo, dismantled car #1, worked to stabilize the body of #3 and saved it from destruction.
Mr. Vassallo moved the car to two different storage locations before finally moving it to his rural Philadelphia area home and a building he had built for the restoration of cars he’d subsequently acquired.
In 1999, Paul and his Wife generously donated #3 to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, providing PTM a unique interurban car with a fascinating story. This car is the Museum’s only Niles-built car and represents the “combine” configuration used by many lines in the north central part of Pennsylvania, where hauling freight was just as important as the passenger business.
Currently, #3 is on display in the Trolley Display Building. Museum personnel are working to recreate the trolley’s life as a hunting camp. The car will serve as an exhibit about how some streetcars were saved from the scrapyard or the burn pile.
Niles Car and Manufacturing Co. Niles, Ohio
STREET & INTERURBAN RAILWAY PASSENGER CARS
Trolley Display Building Exhibit