PA: Trolley 505 Hits Road Again

July 22--Less than two years after its return to Scranton, the historic No. 505 is leaving again.

The former Scranton Transit Co. trolley will be delivered today to a steel fabrication shop in Bernville, near Reading, to start what is expected to be a $350,000 restoration to bring the car back to full operating condition.

"Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day," chairman James Wert said, quoting from the musical, "Oklahoma," as the Electric City Trolley Museum Association's Project 505 committee bid farewell to the car Tuesday at the McDade Park maintenance building.

The 505 has been stored at the Bald Mountain Road site since the committee brought it back to the city in November 2012.

Once the car arrives at the Bernville shop, apprentices associated with Reading-based Ironworkers Local 420 will restore the car's rusted steel frame and body, work that will take a year or more.

At the same time, the trolley's truck assemblies will be removed and taken apart so the four electric motors that drive the car can be refurbished.

Andy Maginnis, Project 505 restoration manager, said when the steel work is completed, the car will come back to Lackawanna County's trolley shop near PNC Field, where area craftsmen will finish the restoration.

"We're trying as much as possible to have local help do it in Scranton," Mr. Maginnis said. "It's your car, your history, your inheritance."

Manufactured by the Osgood Bradley Car Co., the 505 operated in Scranton from 1929 until trolley service ended in 1954. It is one of only three trolley cars that ran in the city known to still exist and the last surviving Osgood Bradley "Electromobile" streetcar.

Workers spent about two hours loading the 505 onto a specially designed flatbed trailer, with most of that time spent laying down temporary track and later securing the car to the flatbed. In between, it took only 13 minutes to carefully winch the trolley onto the trailer.

When trolley service ceased in Scranton, a collector purchased the 505 for a private museum in Sandy Pond, N.Y. The car later went to a museum in Bloomsburg, where it survived the devastating Tropical Storm Agnes flood in 1972, but then deteriorated in a salvage yard for more than 20 years.

The Rockhill Trolley Museum in central Pennsylvania eventually offered it to the Electric City association.

The Project 505 committee has so far raised about $60,000 for the restoration. Mr. Wert said it needs about $6,000 more in private donations to secure a $50,000 matching grant from a California foundation.

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to ECTMA, Project 505, P.O. Box 20019, Scranton, 18502. Checks should made payable to "ECTMA-Project 505."

Contact the writer: dsingleton@timesshamrock.com

Copyright 2014 - The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

Loading