Pittsburgh Railways Co. 4145

4145 in Cleveland

Trolleyville attorney officially hands title to 4145 over to Dave Carpenter and Bill Fronczek before the car departed Cleveland 2009.

The 4100 series cars were the last high floor cars built for use on the Pittsburgh Railways Company lines.  They were built by the Pressed Steel Car Company which was located in the ‘Bottoms’ section of McKees Rocks along the Ohio River just downstream from the West End neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.  These big heavy cars were designed to pull double truck low-floor trailers and served Pittsburgh Railway’s busiest routes.  Car 4145 entered service on November 25, 1911 and operated into the late 1930s when delivery of the first PCC cars rendered cars of this type surplus.

Because of their heavy construction the Pittsburgh Railways converted about a dozen 4000s and 4100 for use as snow scraping and towing cars in 1940.  At this time 4145 was renumbered M459 and placed into service as a snow scraper.  It served in this capacity until the closing of the Craft Avenue car house in 1967 when it was declared surplus and placed on the scrap list.

Fortunately a transportation museum in north central Pennsylvania was initiating trolley operation as part of their attraction and the car was acquired and moved to The Magee Museum of Transportation in Bloomsburg in 1968.  There Edward Blossom and his restoration team took the car and transformed it back into an operating passenger car to supplement their open car operation.  Misfortune struck this museum in 1972 when Hurricane Agnes spawned storms in the northeastern United States that inundated the museum destroying the streetcar line and soaking their entire collection of transportation artifacts including 4145.

In 1973 the museum was disbanded and the collection was sold to the highest bidders.  It was at this time that Gerald Brookins purchased 4145 for his private “Trolleyville” operation near North Olmstead, Ohio where streetcars were operated through a modern mobile home community that was dedicated to housing senior citizens.  Trolleyville was successful through 2003 when the family of Mr. Brookins sold the property and formed a non-profit group to preserve the cars in the Cleveland area.  At this time 4145 was moved to a lake front location near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where the cars were placed on display pending construction of a museum building and re-opening operations along the Cleveland RTA’s Waterfront light rail line.

In 2009 without sufficient financing the museum reverted to Brookins Family ownership and a consortium of electric railway museums put together a plan that saw the collection disbanded to the various groups.  At this time the generosity of PTM volunteer David Carpenter provided funding for this car to come to Arden for restoration as a wide-gauge operating exhibit, retaining all of the beautiful work done in Bloomsburg forty years earlier.

In 2010 PTM shop volunteers in conjunction with Lyons Industries rebuilt the trucks and returned them to the proper 5’2-1/2″ gauge so that the car could again operate on it’s home track here at the museum.  The car was officially rolled out on its 100th Birthday, November 25, 2011 with Santa Claus on board and Dave Carpenter at the helm.

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Car Number 4145 Car Builder Pressed Steel Car Company, McKees Rocks, PA
Year Built 1911 Type SE City – High Floor
Length 47’2″ Width 8’2″
Height 11’6″ Weight 48,000 lbs. (24 tons)
Seats 53 Motors WH 306CD 4@
Year Acquired 2009 Status Trolley Building Display Exhibit