Car Preservation & Restoration

Here are some images of our car acquisition, preservation and restoration activities. Choose different cars from the drop-down list to see a particular car's restoration photos. Most of the time, clicking on an image will result in a larger version being displayed.

April 30, 2005

Between cups of coffee, volunteers are finding a few moments to spend on Johnstown 311. Staining and varnishing of wood parts is mostly complete, and glazing of the new wooden upper window sashes has begun.

A well-caffeinated volunteer drills screw holes to secure glass in an upper sash.

March 31, 2005

Thankfully it is just a figure of speech; Johnstown 355 has not become addicted to auto racing. The trolley is simply on its way to Lyons Industries of Ebensburg, where it will receive a considerable makeover funded by a federal grant. This is our first grant-funded major restoration, and everyone involved is very glad to see the project reach another milestone.

The Johnstown 355 entourage prepares to depart Car Barn 2 on a drop bed truck trailer.

March 12, 2005

With all the recent progress on Johnstown cars 311 and 355, finished wood pieces will be needed for boths cars before too long. Our woodworking volunteers have been busy repairing damaged pieces where practical, fabricating new where not, and sanding and finishing everything.

A volunteer uses steel wool on a piece of 355 between coats of varnish.

March 12, 2005

Another volunteer uses trigonometry and differential equations to determine ideal dimensions of a piece to repair a window post of 355.

March 12, 2005

A volunteer uses what we affectionately refer to as The Mother of All Jointers to plane a piece for one of the Johnstown cars.

March 12, 2005

With two-thirds of Johnstown #311's new letterboard riveted in place, woodworkers are test fitting their newly-crafted wooden upper window sashes. Parts of 311 are beginning to resemble a trolley car once more!

A new cherry-wood sash fitted beneath shiny new letterboard on JTC 311, while freshly stripped ceiling is visible inside.

March 5, 2005

Our volunteers are finally serious about riveting new letterboard onto Johnstown #311. Unfortunately, cold weather and moisture in our shop air system have caused icing of airlines and the rivet gun and really slowed progress. Determined volunteers have devised ways to deal with the problem, and rivets are being installed in quantity for the first time in many years at RTM.

The bucker heats a rivet with a propane cutting torch and places it into the prepared hole.

March 5, 2005

The riveter (left) uses an air-operated rivet gun to form a head on the inside of the car, while the bucker (right) backs up the rivet with a stamp or set.

March 5, 2005

Scrape, scrape, scrape...In case the screech of paint scrapers isn't enough to keep them awake, they now have the racket of a rivet gun hammering sheet metal.

Some volunteers have gone so far as to try to sabotage tools so they don't have to work on the ceiling any more. We've seen through that cheap trick, and bought lots of extra tools to finish the job!