trolley freight service?

General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

Moderator: Aa3rt

Posts: 2772
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:19 am
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey

ITC Class C 4 truck electric loco

Post by CarterB » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:37 pm

Not the real thing but.............." onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;
Illinois Terminal: A Traction Time Machine has real class b's not sure of any class c's or d's.
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!

Posts: 615
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:35 pm

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by dinwitty » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:07 pm

mtuandrew wrote:OK then - consider it done.

Side note: I want to see a four-truck freight motor in action, after seeing them in Middleton's book. That's something that no mainline diesel-powered freight can ever replicate nowadays.
heh, I am working on my 4 truck North Shore box cab freight motor imported by Milwaukee Car Works, I bought it from another fellow at a nice price. My initial run tests it could not run well at slow speeds, it used the ole traditional spring drive. it caused the body to wobble also because of all the torque. My plan was to use NWSL PDT's, and I bought them, but were too high, so I put the model away and all the parts in hopes a better way came along, I was trying some double gearing things, but then I studied the NWSL new Stanton truck, and it was smaller than the PDT in many ways, so I took a gamble and ordered form my LHS. He accidentally ordered 2, I took them, I only ordered one for testing. Got them home and yeppers, they fit, only little tweaking. I order 2 more stantons but got only one as walthers must be out of stock, so I modded one of my PDT's, only one could really fit...with modding and it isnt really perfect either, so when the other Stanton arrives, its out. But I just got all for drives installed and wired when I found this thread searching for pics.
I'm planning some pics and take a video of it operating that might happen kinda soonish but I am still in the middle of working on it. But all 4 drives work, but I had some sticky problems with one Stanton being fussy and I had to take it apart to find out, not sure what but put it back together carefully.
So you will get your wish. The engine should crawl at switching speeds.

Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by Detroit » Fri May 08, 2015 7:20 pm

The Milwaukee Interurban had freight service. It even had a large multistory building at 940 W. St. Paul for handling the freight. The Milwaukee Interurban/Speedrail bellied up in 1951.

Right afterward that building became the Aldrich Chemical Company's building until it was finally demolished just a few years ago--as a result of expanding the Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee.

Posts: 1477
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:58 am
Location: Warren, PA

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by pablo » Wed May 13, 2015 10:14 pm

The various trolley lines around Jamestown, NY, had freight service, whether it was a dedicated freight using freight locos or some LCL baggage car stuff. The Jamestown, Westfield, and Northwestern was used as a sort of bridge line between Jamestown, NY and the high rates changed by the Erie and connections to NYC, Pennsy, and the Nickel Plate. You could even add that it served the lake freight traffic, as its headquarters were at the "boatlanding" at the eastern end of Chautauqua Lake.

A sister line/subsidiary, the Chautauqua Traction Company, carried LCL stuff from local farms, and the occasional casket (loaded, usually :-D) but the lines could certainly accommodate freight motors. I never saw confirmation aside from snowplow extras.

The Jamestown Street Railway could also likely carry all of the same rolling stock, but I never saw proof of it carrying any freight.

In 1947, the line dieselized and carried on for three more years.

Dave Becker
~Dave Becker
Moderator: Fairbanks-Morse Forum

TB Diamond
Posts: 1719
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:40 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by TB Diamond » Sat May 16, 2015 12:05 pm

The Rochester & Eastern Rapid Railway in New York State had limited freight service. There were interchanges with the New York Central at Pittsford, the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Victor and the Pennsylvania Railroad at Seneca Castle.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe

Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:39 am

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by FLRailFan1 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:12 pm

YamaOfParadise wrote:The small company that picked up the small line in East Hartford after the NH dumped ConnCo provided (non-electric) service to Pratt & Whitney until '67. It ran right out of the East Hartford yard; the 1915 valuation map. for this section gives a pretty good idea of how they interconnected.
I remember the last day of the Pratt-Whitney trolley... My dad, who worked at P-W, told me the last time, so I biked to Main Street and Burnside and took a few pictures of it..

User avatar
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:46 pm
Location: Boston

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by Gerry6309 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:39 pm

The Boston Elevated had no regular freight or express service of its own, but it hosted freight service operated by two other lines. The Boston & Worcester Interurban operated express service between its namesake cities and intermediate points. The Bay State Street Railway and its successor the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway ran such service to all of its divisions, including Newport, RI and Nashua, NH. They shared a downtown terminal at Copps Hill Wharf until it was destroyed in the Molasses Flood in 1919, thereafter a less central location on Harrison Ave. in the South End, was used. Demand for the service lessened during the 1920s, and it had ended by 1930. Several Eastern Mass freight motors were converted to snow plows and sweepers, with one surviving on the Elevated network until about 1950. The Elevated, whose streetcar network far exceeded its rapid transit operations, also hauled molasses cars for Purity Distilling, owner of the infamous tank at Copps Hill Wharf. The failure of the tank put an end to the operation before prohibition did. One of the tank cars used in the service was converted into a water spray car for the Elevated. Although there was no desire to haul RR freight cars over its tracks, the Elevated had several connections to the national system where it received cars and supplies for its system.

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.

User avatar
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:46 pm
Location: Boston

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by Gerry6309 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:30 pm

I misspoke in the above post. The Bay State operated freight service on its southern portions only, although its connections on the north side were well suited to such a service, and such service was proposed, none was ever operated.

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.

Posts: 1640
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Western suburbs

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by JeffK » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:54 pm

Mea culpa for "bumping" the thread but I just found it after the move to Fallen Flags.

The P&W doesn't qualify as a true trolley line, but it operated a limited amount of freight service via a connection to the PRR Cardington branch in Upper Darby. During its history it connected to at least four different industrial sites along the route from Upper Darby to Norristown. The last surviving freight service used a short siding near Ardmore Avenue to deliver sand to the Merion Golf Club:

IIRC sand deliveries ended around 1970 (??). After that the siding was removed and connections to the PRR were severed, which meant the line no longer came under FRA oversight.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:58 pm

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by ohioriverrailway » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:49 pm

Even the 12-mile-long Ohio River Electric Railway in Pomeroy, Ohio handled freight with their two small electric engines.
Iowa Traction uses a fleet of steeple cabs even today to handle interchange freight.
Rick H.

Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by ginosrailpage » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:35 am

The Southern New York Railroad was a freight Railroad and passenger line in Upstate, NY. They had connections with the West Shore at Mohawk, NY, the DL&W at Richfield Springs, NY and the Delaware and Hudson at Oneonta, NY. Also, the SNY connected with the Ulster & Delaware at Oneonta. After passenger operations ceased in 1933, freight operations continued until 1971 from West Oneonta to the D&H at Oneonta.

Posts: 1186
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:42 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by dowlingm » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:23 pm

I thought this thread got bumped because Dresden CarGoTram just went back into service :) ... ction.html" onclick=";return false;

Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by ginosrailpage » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:47 pm

I'm looking through old threads and I guess I responded to a year old story...

Posts: 495
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:44 pm

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by edbear » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:41 pm

Gerry6309, August 2015. Bay State Street Railway carried freight only on the former Old Colony Street Railway lines, south of Boston. The former Boston & Northern lines did not have freight service. After the Bay State was reorganized as the Eastern Massachusetts St. Ry., one of the first things the management did was to discontinue freight service.

Posts: 76
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:04 pm

Re: trolley freight service?

Post by phillyrube » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:58 pm

There was a lot of freight service in suburban Philly. A couple books:

Trolleys of Montgomery County, PA, by Harry Foesig and Harold Cox.

Montgomery County Trolleys, by Mike Szilagyi, Images of America books.

Return to “General Discussion: Fallen Trolley and Interurban Lines”