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.

In the future, the motors from the broad gauge trucks will be moved into these trucks.

After repairs to the work platform and roof, D-39 may take the place of our caboose as a wire-pair vehicle.

November 21, 2003:

A 50 ton Krupp crane from Bryce Saylor & Sons of Altoona, PA, shows off some boom length as it works to lift about 25 tons of antique trolley carbody from its broad-gauge trucks, which remained on the truck trailer.

Much of the car's underframe and body is wood, which does not give it much crushing strength. To avoid potential damage to the car, square steel tubing was placed under the frame and lifted using spreader beams in both directions. Lifting forces were thereby applied as close to vertically as possible.

These same trucks were under the car when it served on the Broad Street subway some years ago.

In this view, steel tubing used to support the carbody can be seen extending out from the nearest lifting sling. at a time, while keeping a safe distance away.

While modern cranes and rigging are very reliable, there is always risk. It's important to keep body parts from under any part of the load, just in case!

Once the car was sitting on its trucks, the Bobcat was used to shove it out of the way until storage space could be cleared in Car Barn 2.

November 16, 2003:

A work crew in Philadelphia has loaded SEPTA tower car D-39 for trucking to our museum.

Volunteers work to assemble a broad-gauge ramp of girder rail used to move the car from live track onto a drop-bed truck trailer.

Volunteers follow closely behind the wheels with wooden trigs. Should something happen, it would be nice if the car did not roll alway and get lost among other derelict equipment.

Volunteers then worked to tie the car securely to the trailer and secure loose parts on its roof.

D-39's wooden roof and hatches have suffered from recent outside storage. At our museum, the car will be inside to stop this situation from worsening.

While not as old as the trolley car, the Autocar is a classic in itself, and has done its part to transport literally dozens of trolley cars to new homes.

The 1905 "Autocar" trademark actually predates car D-39, and the trucks were built in Ardmore, a suburb served by Philly's transit systems.

Photo courtesy of John Nawn