Kenneth C. Springirth, author of Greater Erie Trolleys and Johnstown Trolleys and Incline, has a vested interest in rail history, as his father was a trolley car motorman in Philadelphia and his grandfather was a motorman in Washington, D.C. Since 1959, Springirth has made 150 trips to Pittsburgh to study and photograph the area's trolleys. He has walked the lines, photographed, and ridden trolley cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Isle of Man, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Portugal, and Hong Kong.
Pittsburgh Streamlined Trolleysby Kenneth C. Springirth
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Pittsburgh Streamlined Trolleys covers the history of the trolley car system that once had the third largest fleet of Presidents' Conference Committee trolley cars in North America. Pittsburgh Railways Company was very innovative and constantly made design improvements in its trolley cars. This led to increased ridership, as these streamlined trolleys were quiet, fast, and had comfortable seating. With the increased use of automobiles, ridership declined. After the Port Authority of Allegheny County took over Pittsburgh Railways, most of the trolley routes were abandoned. However, a number of trolleys were refurbished with paint schemes that included psychedelic commercial advertising and community messages. The last runs of these trolleys occurred in 1999, and new light rail vehicles are now in service.
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