17 Comments

  1. zl
    2/17/2016
    Reply

    Beautiful photos. An amazing history this city has. Street cars were important. I’d love to see their revival but we need more reasons to come into the city other than sports. The current mayor has no vision for this to happen.

  2. belong
    2/17/2016
    Reply

    I commuted from the south hills to town for many years on the old street cars. They were hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I was not sad to see them go away. I will add, however, that it was easy to fall asleep on the Library Express returning from town each evening. The driver knew everyone’s stop and made sure to call it out loud enough to awaken you. You don’t get that on a T.

  3. William Ford
    2/17/2016
    Reply

    Where to begin: great restaurants, the symphony, the ballet, the opera, the galleries, market square, Gateway Clipper, the views, the stores (yes there are stores), theater, architecture, the universities, the strip, the casino, Stage AE, etc. So you are probably right- no reason to go into the city.

  4. 2/18/2016
    Reply

    Love the pictures! Thanks for putting them together. I remember some of them!!!

  5. Judith Hilles Hutchison
    2/18/2016
    Reply

    Loved these photos and articles. Remember riding these cars as a small child.
    We no longer had them in my hometown of Butler,Pa by the 40/50’s. We did have the buses .

  6. Tony M
    2/18/2016
    Reply

    Revival and popularity of the Strip District should inspire a re-look at the old 95 trolley line with vintage equipment. It could be Pittsburgh’s version of the Market/Castro historical line in San Francisco where both commuters and tourists enjoy the ride. Too bad the abandoned but intact Plummer St. Car House is populated with a Busy Beaver now :-)

  7. Scott Becker
    2/20/2016
    Reply

    You can see and ride some of Pittsburgh’s old streetcars at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum near Washington, PA. Go to http://www.patrolley.org for more information.

  8. Joel Bloom
    2/20/2016
    Reply

    Of course, we do remember the streetcars in the 1950s – 1960s. So many memories. I remember accompanying my girlfriend Mary (and future wife) partway home from Carnegie Tech Computer Center (CMU) to Wilkinsburg on those streetcars. Walking from Forbes Field to Squirrel Hill – – successfully beating the streetcars. I remember stories of Tech students welding wheels to the tracks. Did that really happen? I remember many transitions from streetcar to bus. I wondered why Ardmore Blvd streetcar right-of-way was eliminated. Yet a busway right-of-way was introduced elsewhere. In 1997-98 I visited Prague and, amazingly, saw and rode identical streetcars operating there! Were they the same, from Pittsburgh? Thanks for the photos, article, and memories. Fort Myers

  9. Julie
    2/21/2016
    Reply

    You can’t forget Pittsburgh artist “The Lady Who Paints Pittsburgh”, Mary Lois Verrilla. She has captured many trolley car scenes in her artwork. I just love the old cars and the history. I look forward to the day they make a grand come back to the burgh.

  10. Seth
    2/21/2016
    Reply

    I find it odd when people attribute negative properties to streetcars that have nothing to do with running on rails, like poor climate control, poor maintenance, etc. That only relates to the age of the vehicles and the way the transit agency maintains them. I volunteer at a streetcar museum, and some of my older colleagues remember doing an excursion to Pittsburgh when the streetcars were still running, and seeing cars with all of the lights burnt out, seats coming off, and even pieces of the floor missing (as in, an actual hole down to the road, big enough for your foot). It’s understandable that average people thought buses were a leap forward.

    As for parked cars, the inability of the police to do anything strikes me as a failure of policy around rules of the road, and also of respect for public transit. I now live in Toronto, which operates the largest streetcar system in the Americas, and although battles between streetcars and autos (especially ones with American plates that don’t know the rules) are a perennial occurrence, they’re still taken seriously as a mode of public transit, and invested in, and that’s really what makes the difference.

  11. Jim Estep
    2/22/2016
    Reply

    Cobblestones and streetcar tracks made for interesting riding on my motorcycle back in the sixties. I miss both, but better to have smooth streets. Cars were good for only about six months before the rattling began. Those cobblestones were brutal. :)

  12. Dave Schwartz
    2/23/2016
    Reply

    I remember going to Forbes Field in the summer on the streetcar. After the game there would be streetcars lined up on Forbes Ave. Motormen would have portable fare boxes hanging on their chest yelling out “downtown car, this car for downtown”. After the cars were filled a supervisor would bang on the side of the car, the doors would close and off we went to downtown. That system was not rapid transit, but it moved people quickly out of Oakland.

  13. Brian G. Miller
    2/25/2016
    Reply

    It “brakes” my heart to see you write that the “driver had to jam on the breaks.”
    I had to take a “brake” from reading the article to try to understand how an editor could allow this to happen.
    GIVE ME A BRAKE!

    OK, I’ve calmed down now and still must say that I did enjoy the pics and article.

    I wonder how many people realize that because of the extensive use of trolleys it was possible to travel from New York City to Chicago, strictly by trolley?
    Hmmmm, how much progress have we really made?

  14. mr Dryden Cooper
    2/26/2016
    Reply

    Here in the UK double decked Trolley buses were in operation in urban area`s until the late 1960s.If someone looks at photos from the 1920s double deck were in use in most towns and cities.As most people may be aware double decked buses are common place as public transport is still available.

  15. W Stoehr
    3/20/2016
    Reply

    That ride on the 87 Ardmore as a kid in the 1940s between E Pittsburgh and wilkinsburg on the Trolley right of way was as much fun as Kenneywood.

  16. jim kalos
    1/6/2017
    Reply

    I remember as a young teen visiting my grandparents in Pittsburgh in the sixties riding the streetcars that used to run stadium specials.I would wait at McKinley and Brownsville road, then return on the 53 carrick loved riding them . Also remember riding the west view car to the park. The ride off of Perrysville always was so neat, It would really move on the track which was by itself with no street traffic.I still can feel how it would sort of move side to side. Great memories.

  17. Mike
    2/1/2017
    Reply

    “They were loved for convenience and affordability, they were signs of progress in the city in the beginning of the 20th century.” That is an understatement! According to an old relative of mine many years ago, the absolute number ONE advantage that electric street cars began to afford Pittsburgh (or any other large city) was to help get rid of the SMELL! Prior to electricity, moving people around by carriage was done by horses. By the turn of the century, all commodities arriving by rail were distributed by horse drawn vehicles such as heating coal, ice, food, building materials, etc. and a portion of the work force was commuting into the city by horse as well By then there was so much horse manure piling up that instead of farmers paying for it as they did in the late 1800’s, the farmers started charging to haul it away. In the summer flies and manure dust covered the city and everyone in it. Electric streetcars (electricity from coal) were the leading edge of more technological improvements yet to come in the way of gasoline powered cars and later, trucks, to end the era of horse slavery and pinched noses. https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/03/29/the-horse-manure-problem/

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