Sweeper #3 Restoration


MARCH 19, 2012


Rockhill Furnace, PA – The Rockhill Trolley Museum (www.rockhilltrolley.org), the operating entity of Railways To Yesterday, Inc., a 501(c) (3) non-profit educational corporation, is happy to announce its participation in an inter-museum exchange of historic vehicles and components between the Branford Electric Railway Association (www.bera.org), the National Capital Trolley Museum (www.dctrolley.org), and the Rockhill Trolley Museum, three of the East Coast’s well-known operating electric railway museums.

The Rockhill Trolley Museum has deaccessioned and transferred ownership of 1899 vintage former DC Transit snow sweeper car #09 to the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville, MD. This car is one of only two former Washington, DC snow sweepers still in existence and remains in essentially the same condition as when it left Washington, DC, having been kept in protected storage for most of its 50 years in Rockhill Furnace. The exterior of the car was cosmetically restored by museum volunteers for its 100th birthday in 1999 and has operated approximately once per year by the museum for special events since that time. Its transfer to the National Capital Trolley Museum marks 50 years since the end of streetcar operation in Washington, DC. The acquisition of car #09 helps National Capital Trolley Museum replace sister car #07 which was lost forever after the museum suffered a tragic fire on September 28, 2003. Car #09 last swept snow at Rockhill Trolley Museum in 2000.

In exchange for its transfer of ownership of car #09 to National Capital Trolley Museum, Rockhill Trolley Museum acquires former Iowa Terminal Railroad 1911 vintage snow sweeper #3 as well as a pair of Brill trucks suitable for use under 1895 vintage former Valley Railways car #12.

Three Sweepers

For a brief moment, there were three trolley snowsweepers on the rails of the Rockhill Trolley Museum! March, 2012

Former Iowa Terminal Railroad #3 was constructed in 1911 by the McGuire-Cummings company; the same entity that constructed DC Transit #09, and is representative of the style of snow sweeper used by electric railways from coast to coast that operated in colder climates. The car was cosmetically restored and made operable again by the Branford Electric Railway Association via a contract with the National Capital Trolley Museum which had acquired the #3 to offset the loss of DC Transit #07 after the tragic 2003 fire. Cars similar to #3 operated in several central Pennsylvania cities including Altoona, Harrisburg, and Johnstown. Along with car #3, Rockhill Trolley Museum acquires a pair of former Brill 27F trucks suitable for use under former Valley Railways car #12 as it operated in its last years of operation. Valley Railways #12 is one of only a few cars in existence built by the Jackson and Sharp Company and is the sole remaining car known to exist from the Valley Railways. The body of this car was saved by Rockhill Trolley Museum in 1985 after 52 years of use as a structure. Acquisition of suitable trucks for this car accomplishes a long-sought goal for the museum and moves this car closer to restoration as an operating exhibit.

The Rockhill Trolley Museum is one of the oldest continuously operating trolley museums in the Middle Atlantic, having operated trolleys every year since 1962. The museum offers a very scenic three mile round trip ride along scenic Blacklog Creek and is located across the street from the historic East Broad Top Railroad. For more information on the museum, as well as information on how to contribute to some of the other significant museum projects, when to visit and how to become a member, please visit www.rockhilltrolley.org.

The Rockhill Trolley Museum extends its thanks to Branford Electric Railway Association and National Capital Trolley Museum for their cooperative efforts to make this historic exchange of equipment possible.

Railways To Yesterday, Inc.

IT-3 CT-09 Press Release