2. History in the making
Horse cars were the first form of public transit within cities.
The earliest horse car line was built in 1828 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Horses are slow and expensive as a form of power.
In larger cities horsecars were replaced by cable cars, or elevated
Horsecar lines were prominent in cities until Frank J. Sprague’s
invention of the overhead wire and motor mount in 1887.
The Sarah Street line in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the last
regularly operated transit line operated with horse cars in the
United States, running until October 27,1923.
3. Frank J. Sprague
“The father of electric traction”
Invented the overhead wire and motor mount combination.
Created the first completely successful electric railway system in
Richmond Virginia. (1887-88)
4. How Streetcars Work
5. Early Streetcars
Many people know streetcars as “Trolleys” popularized by the
childrens’ TV show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood; although the proper
name is a “Streetcar” or “Electric streetcar”
Early trolleys were not much different from their predecessors. They were
small, with only 1 truck (wheel and axle set) and as such could not carry a
large passenger load.
6. Evolution of the Trolley
City cars: Trolleys that ran within cities or towns.
Streamliners: Modernized trolleys first seen in
the late 1930s early 40s.
Interurbans: Trolleys that ran between
towns and cities.
7. Evolution of the Trolley
Light-rail: The newest generation of trolley transportation.
A new Pittsburgh LRV (Light-rail Vehicle).
8. Demise of the Trolley Era
As automobiles became
more popular and more
available to the average
companies began a
Trolleys were stacked and
burned to strip the metal bare.
9. What Once
In the teens and twenties it was possible
to ride trolleys from Pennsylvania to
Illinois (with a lot of transfers in-