The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

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The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:43 am

I've been searching for information on when Public Service ended their trolley and streetcar operations. It appears that service on the Hoboken elevated ended in 1949. When did the rest of the streetcar operations shut down? I know the last remaining operation was the No. 7 City Subway that survived to NJT operation. Any leads are appreciated.

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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby CarterB » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:23 am

Otto, IIRC, a great deal of the PSCT trolley operations ended in 1938...the Hudson River Line, and many of the Newark and suburban lines ceased around that time, though some earlier in the 1920s and a few thru WWII up into the late 40's.
Here's a partial list of former trolley routes with discontinuance dates.
http://web.me.com/willvdv/chirailfan/njtmain.html then look for NEWARK/JERSEY CITY LOCAL ROUTES

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pu ... lway_lines for all the PSCT routes.
The excellent book "The Public Service Trolley Lines in New Jersey"
by Edward Hamm, Jr. (1991) has great details.
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:08 pm

CarterB wrote:Otto, IIRC, a great deal of the PSCT trolley operations ended in 1938...the Hudson River Line, and many of the Newark and suburban lines ceased around that time, though some earlier in the 1920s and a few thru WWII up into the late 40's.
Here's a partial list of former trolley routes with discontinuance dates.
http://web.me.com/willvdv/chirailfan/njtmain.html then look for NEWARK/JERSEY CITY LOCAL ROUTES


So if I read that correctly, Route 21 and 29 lasted as streetcar routes until 1952? Thanks for the lead...

Damn, I should have included this in the thread I already started. I'm trying to ID the route numbers for these photos:

viewtopic.php?f=127&t=76894

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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby CJPat » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:09 am

"The Public Service Trolley Lines in New Jersey" by Edward Hamm, Jr. (1991) definitely is an awesome book and fantastic resource (my father has a copy). Although many trolley lines sprung up and faded away equally fast, it seems like the first big downsize came during the 1924 (i think that was the year) Conductor Strike. With the cars getting bigger, holding more pax, and the increased schedules, the motormen were arguing to keep the Conductor on board to handle the tickets wheras Management wanted to downsize personnel and have the Motorman to do it all (huge safety issue). Many lines disappeared after the Union won that round (e.g. Kenilworth, Pt Pleasant, etc.).
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby CarterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:21 am

Otto,
According to http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/newark.html yup, Routes 21 and 29 (or at least parts of them) lasted until 1952

Some more good Newark area trolley history at: http://www.virtualnewarknj.com/memories ... rolley.htm
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby Ken W2KB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:55 pm

CarterB wrote:Otto,
According to http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/newark.html yup, Routes 21 and 29 (or at least parts of them) lasted until 1952

Some more good Newark area trolley history at: http://www.virtualnewarknj.com/memories ... rolley.htm



From the first of the two:

"to Penn, Broad St, Washington St (out via Warren St ramps): " 21 Orange via Market St, May 1935 - Mar 1951"

When I started college at then Newark College of Engineering, now NJIT, in fall 1966 the overhead wire and tracks on the ramps (one on each side, inbound and outbound) and overhead wire was intact to street level. It remained so for years thereafter. Also, inbound cars in the subway inbound still stopped for a stop and proceed signal just before the switch for inbound cars --- 15+ years after the line was abandoned! I surmise the signal system was not revised.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 ::
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: [/url]
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:03 pm

Thanks for the clarification. PSNJ is a completely foreign topic, so the help is appreciated.

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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby ladder2 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:39 pm

Otto:Another very informative publication about PSCT trolley operations is: Public Service Railway, Bergen Edition,By B.H. Sennstrom and E.T/ Francis, published by:
Harold E. Cox
80 Virginia Terrace
Forty Fort, PA 18704
It was published in 1994 and sold by HE Cox.,it has histories of, Bergen County Traction Co, Hackensack Line.,The Palisade Line.,Saddle River Traction., Jersey City, Hoboken, & Paterson Street railway Co.,and North Jersey Rapid Transit, all of which eventually became part of Public Service Trolley Operations. This is a very good supplement to the book by Edward HammJr. which was mentioned earlier. This book has many good photos of various trolleys in Bergen , Passaic and Hudson Counties.Also has listings of when the trolley operations were discontinued. I hope this helps you further your knowledge of this area.
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby SemperFidelis » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:00 pm

Sir,

My memory's a little hazy and I can't find my "Public Service Trolleys" book, but I think the following is correct.

The last day of actual streetcar operation was in March (29th?) of 1952 when the 29-Bloomfield Avenue Line ended service to Newark (via the 7-City Subway). My father and pop-pop (who was a PSCT/NJT Trolley Operator) rode the last inbound to Newark Penn. Most of the tracks remain beneath the pavement of Bloomfield Avenue as the scrap prices weren't high enough at the time to justify pulling the rails.

There was some talk of operating the 29 Line with the (then) new PCC cars, but the uniquely wide car-bodies of the Newark PCCs lead to some clearance concerns. I'm pretty sure the line was operated with trolley buses for a while, but I can't say for certain.

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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby snavely » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:09 pm

Not surre if the rails remain beneath the pavement of Bloomfield Ave. or not. I have a distinct memory as a 4 year old in 1954 of watching a crew rip them up in front of the A&P that was in Bloomfield Center while my mom did the grocery shopping.
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby ladder2 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:43 pm

Most other trolley tracks were removed during WW II to be sent to scrap mills to be made into war materials (tanks, planes, etc.)
Bloomfield Ave was the last because it was still an active trolley car route. Trolley buses only lasted until 1947 when PSCT switched
to GM diesel buses throughout 90% of NJ. This was the beginning of the end of trolleys, interbans, and commuter rail thru out tyhe whole country!
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby CarterB » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:56 pm

IIRC, Passaic Wharf, where the cars were stored after 1938, was located at about Doremus and Lincoln Hwy N 40.73259 W 74.11984 (Truck rte 1/9)??
Any remnants of it at all left?
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby frank754 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:31 pm

A lot of the Paterson routes (where I grew up), were abandoned around 1926, according to the Hamm book. At one time, you could do a circle route around Paterson, but all that survived in later days was the Hudson River Line. The bridge on Broadway over the Passaic River to Elmwood Park still has the trolley wire support loops on its concrete pillars. My schoolteachers were pretty old in the 60's, and still remembered some of the lines, for example Straight Street and Wagaraw Road. Apparently, there was some sort of PRW station on Wagaraw Rd. right near (I think just to the west of) the triple Erie/NYS&W bridge, but I don't recall seeing a picture of it. There was also a line up West Broadway and up Belmont Avenue to Haledon at the base of the Pompton Turnpike at one point, but never on Haledon Avenue (too steep). I'd love to see any photos from Belmont Ave. from the streetcar days, but non seem to exist. At the corner of Belmont Ave. & Burhans Ave. there look to be two very old metal vintage beige trolley support poles on opposite corners, you can see these on Google street view. These may be the last vestiges. For some reason, by the time I was a kid in the late 50's/early 60's, this Haledon line was no longer operated by PSCT, but rather the "Haledon Bus Co." as line 14-Haledon. You'd catch it at the rear of city hall in Paterson. I think once, possibly in the late 50's on Main St. in Paterson I saw an all-service vehicle go by with the trolley poles down, but under its own power, and out of service, many years after the wires came down. But that was very one of a kind, and I'm not 100% sure if I'd imagined it or not. Would that have been possible? Of course, there were still lots of tracks poking up through the asphalt.
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby SemperFidelis » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:12 pm

I've seen rails in Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell, Verona, Montclair, Bloomfield, and Newark, mainly during resurfacing operations. That's not to say there aren't significant sections missing, especially where the road has been realigned and the intersections have been reconfigured, but I do know at least a good portion of the rails are there.
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Re: The end of Public Service trolleys and streetcars

Postby CarterB » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:32 am

frank754,

Good catch on the trolley support poles at Belmont & Burhans, and the support hooks on the pillars on the Broadway Bridge. I drive on the Broadway Bridge all the time and never noticed them until you pointed them out. ( I always thought the Hudson Line had its own bridge just to the north of the Broadway Bridge.)

The line up Straight St, did it cross the bridge at Arch St then go on up into Hawthorne via Main/Goffle/Wagaraw then up Lafayette, on its way, eventually and for a very short time to Ridgewood? IIRC it was called the 'state line' route? (Paterson and State Line Traction Company??)
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