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RailWays is a collection of material relating to trains, trolleys, and other forms of transit. Here you will find articles, photos, and links to other sites.

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High Speed Trolleys Sprawl and Crawl, and how Portland is combatting it.
Trolley Museum Fire On 09/28/03 The National Capital Trolley Museum suffered a devastating fire. Visit the Trolley Museum Website for more information.
DC Trolleys Links to some videos of Washington DC trolleys in action.
Links Links to other interesting sites.
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In Requiem

Fire at National Capital Trolley Museum
Destroys Eight Historic Cars and Building

As reported by the Trolley Museum

In the early hours of Sunday, September 28, 2003, a fire of unknown origin destroyed four streetcars from the Washington Streetcar Collection, three Austrian trams from the International Collection and the Johnstown Traction Company car from the American Trolley Collection; and their carhouse at the National Capital Trolley Museum.

The loss of Capital Transit Company 1053, the unique experimental streamlined car, and DC Transit 0509, the rare streetcar that once served Great Falls, Maryland has destroyed physical links to the technological development of streetcars in the Nation’s Capital. CTCo 1053 was familiar to Washington residents living along Wisconsin Ave. in Georgetown and along Pennsylvania Avenue. Preserved by DC Transit in 1956, CTCo 1053 helped close out the trolley era in Washington, DC. Constructed in 1899 as an open air car, DC Transit 0509 survived several rebuildings and was last used during the construction of the Museum’s demonstration railway. The loss of two Washington, DC snowsweepers ends the Museum’s ability to interpret street railway snow removal. One of the sweepers, Washington, Alexandria and Mt. Vernon 51 was the sole surviving car from the trolley lines that served Northern Virginia from the 1890s until the 1930s. Capital Transit 07 originally swept the snow along the route to Laurel, MD. Operating examples of the other cars lost in the fire exist in Austria and elsewhere in the United States but were significant in the Museum’s overall interpretation of the development of the electric street. car.

The cars are priceless artifacts. However, based on market conditions for heritage trolleys and the Museum’s recent experience with the quarter-million dollar restoration of Johnstown Traction Company 352, Museum officials estimate the loss of the cars at $8 - $10 Million dollars. The Museum has not established a value of the loss of the carhouse at this time.

The Trolley Museum has planned for the construction of a new display building that would have housed the destroyed streetcars. The design building features all-metal construction and a fire supression system. Contributions to the building fund may be sent to the Trolley Museum at 1313 Bonifant Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905

The Museum plans to reopen and continue to serve the 20,000 annual visitors, including those on school trips, and will announce details at a later time.


Cars That Were Destroyed
City Car Number Type of Car Builder Year Built
Washington, DC CTCo 07 Snow Sweeper McGuire Company 1898
Washington, DC CTCo 0509 Work Car American Car Company 1899
Washington, DC WA&MtV 51 Snow Sweeper J. G. Brill 1905
Washington, DC CTCo 1053 Streamliner St. Louis Car Company 1935
Johnstown, PA JTCo 352 Closed Car St. Louis Car Company 1926
Graz, Austria GVB 120 Closed Motor Grazer Waggonfabrik 1909
Vienna, Austria WStW 6062
WStW 7802
Closed Motor
Closed Trailer
Simmeringer Wagonfabrik 1910


Capital Traction Company 766 was not damaged.



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