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.

The web and flanges of the beams are badly corroded in places, and the holes to which items attach are elongated and rusted out. Rather than patching the beams, we believe it expedient to simply replace the worst areas.

«An old section of I-beam (front) and its replacement (rear). Our new horizontal bandsaw came in very handy for neatly cutting these beams.

October 17, 2004

While portions of Johnstown 311 don't appear to be improving very rapidly, other parts sure are. For example, a large number of electrical devices for the car have been removed, cleaned and overhauled, painted, and re-installed. Among items receiving attention are 2 line breakers, the heat selector, all rotary snap switches, 2 buzzers, a buzzer fusebox, and fused switches.

Shiny 'new' switchgear adorns the inbound end of JTC 311.

August 14, 2004

The restoration of Oporto trolley 172 would have been impossible without the considerable generosity of Janet and Tod Prowell, long time supporters and volunteers with Rockhill Trolley Museum.

Our sincere thanks for their continuing support of our museum!

(photo J. Salomon)

It has been a long, sometimes bumpy road, but our diminutive two-axle trolley from Portugal is finally back in service, thanks to hard work of our volunteers and generosity of long time members.

The car has four new forged steel wheels, two new axles, one rebuilt motor with a new commutator, one new gearset, and all new axle and motor bearings. If that's not enough, it also has new springs, rebuilt brake rigging, a rebuilt air compressor and pole base, overhauled brake valves, all new airbrake piping and hangers, and rebuilt steps and brake cylinder.

August 14, 2004

A big thank you to the many persons who contributed to this project!

August 8, 2004

In the ever-expanding project formerly known as 'Johnstown 311', one of our woodworkers has contributed a lovely new cherry wood panel for mounting electrical switchgear. Meanwhile, mechanical volunteers have been renovating the switches, breakers, fuseholders, buzzers, and buzzer controls which will mount on the new panel.

May 22, 2004

Volunteers are continuing work to get trolley 172 back into service. Here, they work on reassembling the step castings and new wooden steps. Strangely, nothing seems to go back together exactly the way it came apart... Hmmmm!

May 16, 2004

Trolley 172 returned to our museum last week, with new wheels and axles, a rebuilt truck, and reconditioned motors. We now need to complete its airbrake repiping, reassemble steps and hardware, and reinstall its air compressor (rebuilt some time ago). It also needs a helluva bath! It has taken quite a few years, but when all of this work is complete, 172 will be much more reliable than it has in years, and should be in regular public service.

Single-truck car 172 is pushed into Buehler Shop, demonstrating that its new wheels, gears, motors, and axles actually do turn as intended.

May 16, 2004

We'll skip any further cracks about adding a second open trolley to our fleet, but Johnstown 311 sure offers a fine view of the scenery as it is swapped out of Buehler Shop temporarily. Here you can better see that virtually the entire side of the car above the window sills has been removed for replacement or rebuilding. You can also see the interior ceiling which is being stripped of many layers of old paint.

Progress on 311 will unfortunately slow greatly for a while, as our mechanical volunteers shift their efforts onto getting Oporto 172 back into service.