Spliced Horsecars

Portland Vintage Trolleys

Return to
Car Rosters

No.'s 151-165
ca. 1891 
Stephenson/City & Suburban Ry.
Two, Brill Maximum Traction
Two, Westinghouse WP-50
Two, GE K-10
29' 4.5"
7' 7.5"
20,412 lbs
Two longitudinal
30 passengers
Narrow (42")

Comments:  The City & Suburban Railway Company built these cars by splicing together two 10' Stephenson horsecars to create one of the city's earliest group of trolleys.  Original numbers were 35-49.

An article in the May, 1893 Street Railway Journal gave technical details for this series, which was described as including 16 closed motor cars and two open, although only 15 survived on the PRL&P roster.  The building technique was to take two horsecars, remove hoods and platforms, put in new floors and sills and strengthen the roof with iron.  The new trolleys had 20' bodies, and were 29' overall.  Their open platforms were later enclosed.  Rebuilding cost was only $350 apiece.

Photographs of these cars show slight differences, suggesting that they were built from different styles of horsecars.  Most obvious is the window frame shape; some of the 30's had square window sash, while the 40's sported arched windows.  Later, while enclosing the platforms, all windows in this series were changed to the more modern square shape.  An attempt was made to pair matching horsecars together for the cleanest look while splicing.  Yet, an obvious sign of splicing can be seen in a small line in the exact center of the roof molding on old photographs.

Later rosters indicated that these cars were built by Pullman, which would seem to be an obvious error.  Perhaps they were confused with the "white and gold" Pullmans that followed them in the original C&S roster.

No.'s 151-165 were used on the South Portland and Glisan lines during their C&S years, but PRL&P employed them primarily on shorter stub lines and for tripper service (filling in during rush periods).  They were regularly seen on the Burnside and Brooklyn lines.  As with most of the old cars inherited from C&S, this series were retired early.

Retirement:  1910= 151, 163-164;  1911 = 152-155, 157, 165; 1913 = 156, 161-162; 1919 = 158 and 159.

Technical Notes:  The first group of cars were retired in 1910 after 163 and 164 had burned in a fire at Piemont Carhouse and the motors had been removed from 151 and placed in work car No. 914.  Interestingly, No. 151 was listed with GE-58 motors instead of the original Westinghouse WP-50's.

Alternative uses were tried for several of this series.  No. 158 was temporarily fitted out as a line car in 1911 and used for at least one season.  But, by 1916 it was listed as a passenger car again (though in "bad order").  No. 159 is thought to have also been tried as a line car in 1912, by which time it was equipped with GE K-11 controllers instead of the original K-10's.

Many of the remaining cars in this series were listed as "unserviceable" in 1915, and by the next year were stored at the Piedmont Carhouse without motors and other electrical equipment.

Note:  There was a No. 150 which preceeded this series, but it was a work car, a derrick trailer used on interurban lines.

Back to top

Return to Home

© ETConsulting 2009