SCRANTON — An electric trolley that travelled the streets of Scranton 70 years ago started another journey on Tuesday.
The Number 505 trolley is headed south, near Reading, to be restored.
The old wheels have travelled a lot of miles but a few feet it travelled on Tuesday may be the most important distance they ever traveled.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t fall off and that it get up here all in one piece,” said Electric City Trolley Museum worker David Biles.
It’s just a rusty shell now, but the Number 505 trolley was blue with cream trim. There were upholstered leather seats inside.
Jack Carling remembers his friend hopping on for one of its final trips around Scranton in 1954.
“At that point in time, we were both in our early 20s, as a matter of fact just after our Korean service.”
A group of men — many who remember riding this and trolleys like it — have been raising money to restore the car to what it used to be. Their funding still has a long way to go, but they sent it off to Berks County to start restoration.
It’s the only surviving electric trolley car of its kind.
“This is the only one, 505!” said James Wert.
They’ve deemed it “Project 505” and the plan is to have the trolley car travelling the streets of Scranton again in a few years.
“It’s part of the legacy of the Scranton Electric City. It’s legacy goes back historically all the way to 1886,” Wert said.
And it’s a legacy that isn’t quite over, according to these guys.
“We’re looking forward to that, and we’re looking forward to the return whenever that might be. I don’t know if they realize what they’re getting in this rust bucket,” Biles said.
There’s no set date for the 505’s return to Scranton, as long as it takes for the committee to raise the money to restore it; they’re hoping for about three years. Still, it’s just a short part of this trolley’s long history.