Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Sweeper 04

#4 performing its duties in West Chester, PA; January 1954. (David Cope photo)

#4 performing its duties in West Chester, PA; January 1954. (David Cope photo)

Car #4 was purchased by the Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company in 1922 following the terrible winter weather that befell southeastern Pennsylvania in January of that year. Passengers were left stranded along the West Chester line for up to 20 hours while Traction crews worked to open the line. The lack of robust snow fighting equipment prompted this car’s purchase.
Red Arrow 4 in action at PTM, 1998. (Sarah J. Wells photo)

Red Arrow 4 in action at PTM, 1998. (Sarah J. Wells photo)

Number 4 served P&WCT and its successors Philadelphia Suburban and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) until 1988 when it was acquired by PTM, where it has proven to be a useful machine as well. On several occasions in the 1990s it was used to clear the line following winter storms as evidenced in the photo above.
The car is fully operational but suffering from its advanced age and therefore has become an interesting exhibit for visitors to enjoy. One interesting sidelight of this car is it original design as shown in the builder’s catalogs allowed for removal of the broom units so that it could double as an electric boxcar or “box motor” for transporting freight during the warmer months. This, in spite of the fact that two large drive motors connected to the brooms and the associated controls occupy much of the interior.

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Car Number 4 Car Builder McGuire-Cummings Mfg Co.
Year Built 1922 Type DE DT Snow Sweeper
Length 49’5″ Width 8’0″
Seats 0 Motors GE203L
Year Acquired 1988 Status Trolley Display Building Exhibit