2021 Keep It Going…
Well there is something to be said about why things happen. A few years ago, obtaining a set of original trolley trucks of any kind would have been near impossible and very costly. Also, our years of attempts to find an original and correct trolley catcher for #93 were pretty much fruitless. Back in March, very sad to say, Jim Mitchener died. The following events for 2021 would seem to indicate someone is still working on things.
Our Parts Department link mentions our need for a trolley catcher. For a few years now we have tried to track one down. We would always ask when we were out at the museums doing trolley research. I would religiously scan the internet, but nothing was coming up. Well our persistence finally paid off with the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Their director, Scott Becker gave me a lead. A now, 90+ years old, tells me the story of delivering newspapers when he was a boy in Johnstown. Where they dropped off his papers was some distance from where he lived and so he would save time "sneaking" a ride on the trolley. He would jump on the cow catcher (metal platform used to remove animals from the track humanely), then grab onto the trolley catcher to help stabilize himself. Years later he stopped by the trolley offices and asked for some memento related to the trolleys of his youth. They gave him this trolley catcher, and he has carted it around with him for most of his adult life. He felt it was time to ensure that it was safe from the scrap yard so we caught our catcher.
Take it apart and see what we got. Sandblast, prime and paint it.
Now figure out where it goes. Ours goes on the back and we were able to pretty much pinpoint the location using photographs. This while "we were still in the woods" image is a little blurry but it shows the trolley catcher "scar" on the back.
Yes! Now we just need some one quarter inch rope 22 feet long to complete things.
Yes! We also got a trolley wheel and housing thanks to an internet auction.
Put it all together… So now if our trolley wheel comes off the overhead power wire, we can use the catcher rope to line it back up and go along our way.
DARN COVID DELAYS! Just before Covid hit, we were on track to receive a set of vintage trolley trucks. #93 is a single truck trolley, meaning that it requires only one set of four railroad type wheels under it to ride the tracks. Scott Symans, of Dunkirk New York who would bring his restored
BALDWIN 0-4-0 "VISCOSE COMPANY" #6 steam engine to the National Train Day events Lee Harkness would put on at the Gateway Train Station (now the NCC), gave us a lead. Bill Pollman with the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine had a set of trucks with 26" wheels (just what we needed) that were scheduled to come back to Maine from the Illinois Railway Museum. Several back and forth conversations with Bill ended with an offer to just drop the trucks off in Dunkirk on their way back with a load of other parts from the museum. Unfortunately, Covid shutdowns made it look like this would never happen. Then we got the call they were on their way.
The plan was that Scott Symans, having the equipment to unload and an area to store the trucks, would help us out. I wanted to get some pictures to document the arrival, but my notification didn't come until after the fact. So, no pictures darn it. But, big THANK-YOUS! TO Bill Pollman and the Seashore Trolley Museum for the gift, and to Scott Symans doing the receiving.
December 15. Over the past few months I have been speaking with a few builders of sorts, City officials, people used for references, etc. it is looking like a building might be doable within the 60K to 70K range. We may have about 10 percent of that thanks to Jim's request for donations to the trolley in his memory. I have some ideas for keeping the building project going, but anyone out there willing to throw in…
GO TO NEXT.
GO BACK TO MAIN.