Trolley Car on the Road to Restoration

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Wilkes-Barre's last known original streetcar is on the move after being used as part of a house outside Dallas for decades.

It was not easy for crews to recover this trolley car from inside a home in Franklin Township. First, the house had to come down, and then crews had to lift the car above power lines to get it onto a truck for transport.

"This is a great thing. We've got a Wilkes-Barre car and it was in an old house and people gave it to us and we're going to restore it to operation," said Andy Maginis of Anthracite Trolleys Inc.

Members of the nonprofit Anthracite Trolleys Inc. tell Newswatch 16 they have been working to begin the restoration of this trolley for close to five years.

"To have the last Wilkes-Barre car that highest number on the roster too, 790, that is the end of the roll call for the trolleys and service went out on October 15, 1950," explained Conrad Baut of the Anthracite Trolleys Inc.

"That night the car was put in the siding, the power was turned off. That was the end of the trolleys," added James Wert of the same organization.

Now, the trolley will stay in a warehouse in Swoyersville as crews begin the restoration process. Conrad Baut says for 95 years old, this trolley car is in pretty good shape.

"Because of how well it was put together, we have a very intact structural car to work from, a really good specimen that will restore really nicely," said Baut.

"We have the parts and we'll retrofit them to it and make it run so if you come to Scranton in a couple years you can ride it," added Maginis.

That's the plan. In a few years, these history buffs plan to take others on rides in this trolley at the Electric Trolley Museum in Scranton.

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