Johnstown is a medium-sized city whose economy relied heavily on the steel industry. The nature of that business, with its large number of employees changing shifts three times daily, was a ready-made market for the Johnstown Traction Company (JTC), who found it profitable to maintain streetcar operations long after most cities had gone over to buses. JTC even purchased streamlined PCC cars in 1947, the smallest U.S. city to do so.
By 1959, steel industry was suffering and the transit company was reducing its costs accordingly by initiating conversion of its lines to trackless trolleys (electric buses). A number of cars of the 350 series still serviceable on the system and frequently operated on excursions for streetcar enthusiasts like the early volunteers who established this museum. These “fantrips” provided fund raising that helped establish a few trolley museums. Because of this several cars found their way to museum operation with the first of them preserved here in September of 1959.
Car 350 is a perfect “time warp,” as it remains in virtually the same condition as it was in its last days of service in Johnstown. The car is currently on display at the Trolley Display Building. In June of 2004 it was placed on wheel sets (trucks) from Pittsburgh for the trip to the newly built TDB. Plans for the future are to re-gauge the original trucks so that the car may operate on the museum’s demonstration railway.
|Car Number||350||Car Builder||St. Louis Car Company|
|Year Built||1926||Type||DE City|
|Height||11’4″||Weight||38,700 lbs. (19.4 tons)|
|Year Acquired||1959||Status||Trolley Display Building Exhibit|