Posted in Earth, Exploring, Family, Fire, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Little Peanut, Little Wookie, Maryland, Nature, Pennsylvania, Photography, Play, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Summer, Travel

All aboard

It will soon be time to board car 172.

I remember in ’37 when trolley cars were so big in New York.  It was five cents for a ride… There used to be open-air buses, and you could go up a spiral staircase and sit up on top.  Those were great, great days.

~ Tiny Tim

Car 355. (We didn’t ride this one.)

It’s not at all easy to find a good quote about trolleys.  Most of them refer to shopping carts (which we call shopping carts here in the U.S., but they call trolleys in the U.K. and elsewhere).

Inside the car we did ride (car 172).

I am procrastinating today.  I am even procrastinating my procrastinating by getting distracted from putting together this post.  Yesterday I cleared a few things off of my list of things I had been postponing for another day.  It felt so good to do that, I was sure I would finish up the list today.  Instead, I’m feeling somewhat restless and distracted.  Thank goodness there’s nothing pressing that needs to be done.  On the other hand, if it did need doing immediately, I’d be doing it, no matter how fidgety I feel.

Little Wookie, ringing the trolley bell (the mechanism for it is located on the floor).  You can see the shoes and feet of one of the conductors and Little Peanut.

So, in my Bicycles and trolleys post we left off just as we were getting ready to board the trolley after my private tour of some of the Rockhill Trolley Museum.  We were the first there for the first ride of the day and, it turned out, we were the only passengers for that trip.  The ride took about 30 minutes, maybe a little longer.  It went by pretty fast so I’m not sure.

Little Wookie at the other end of the car visiting with the other conductor.

The trolley that we were told to board is Oporto #172.  From the museum website:

Car 172 is our example of a Toonerville trolley, a small two-axle trolley. The nickname comes from a series of silent comedy films by that name, which featured a rickety little trolley bouncing along the countryside as its motorman engaged in a series of comical adventures. Car #172 is based on a design by J. G. Brill Co. of Philadelphia, which is coincidentally where the first Toonerville trolley movies were made, before Hollywood even existed.

Have a seat.  There were only seven us, leaving plenty of empty seats.

It was built in Oporto, Portugal in 1929.  It is a semi-convertible design.  The windows can be raised into roof pockets on hot days.  The windows were, in fact, raised during our trip (because it was a hot day).  But it’s best to keep fingers, hands, and arms inside if you don’t want to risk injury.  It’s an old car and the windows don’t always stay where they should.

Little Peanut, checking things out.

More from the website:

Oporto built a large fleet of these cars in their shops. Car 172 has an attractive interior, with very ornate carved wood trim , fancy brass fittings, and sliding end doors. It also has a unique seating arrangement, with two seats on one side and one seat on the other, made necessary by the narrow twisting streets of Oporto.

It was difficult to hold the camera steady once the trolley got moving.

The ride was as described on the website (“a rickety little trolley bouncing along the countryside”).  We did bounce and sway and almost tumble off our seats.  As I mentioned earlier, it was not a very long ride in terms of time.  Or distance, for that matter.  We traveled just a little way down the track to a dead end where we stopped and the conductors told us a little about the car.  On the way back we stopped once again to learn a little about an old (and falling down) coke-fired iron furnace that we passed.  There’s a whole complex of ruins there.

Remains of the iron furnace.

Most of the photos I took on the trolley (or around the trolley) were pretty bad.  It was midday, for one thing, so the light was one big glare.  The movement and reflections on the windows also made it difficult.  Some of the better photographs can’t be posted because they include family members who are facing the camera (and they don’t wish to have their faces plastered on the internet).

Waiting for the next ride.

The main thing is that we had fun and learned a little along the way.  Little Wookie seemed to really enjoy the ride once he got used to the bouncing and swaying.  Little Peanut, on the other hand, is so young that he probably thought of it as just another ride, similar to being in the car but without a car seat.  They both got to ring the trolley bell one (or two or three or four) more times before we left the car.

A good look at the outside of car #172 before we leave.

Thank you for stopping by for the trolley ride.  If interested, you can read more about Oporto #172 here (that link takes you to the museum website — no ads or popups).  Also, please pardon any typos or mistakes.  Looks like there are some storms coming.  It suddenly got dark outside.  Time to shut the computer down.  I’ll proofread later, maybe.

Be good, be kind, be love.  ♥

Back at Raystown Lake after our trolley ride and picnic lunch.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,131)  The challenges that help us grow, stretch, evolve.  I hope we humans are up to it.  1,132)  After Bite, a product made to be applied after an insect bites.  It helps.  1,133)  The cold front they say is going to get here today.  I do hope it arrives soon and washes out some of this heat and humidity.  1,134)  Trolley rides and clanging bells and little boys who like to clang the bells.  1,135)  My freckles.  

Wednesday’s sunset.


Robin is...

14 thoughts on “All aboard

  1. I’m glad they have places like this where we can get a little taste of the past. The photo of Little Peanut checking things out reminded me of my own boys when they were toddlers, so long ago. I loved to nuzzle those sweet little necks! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too, Eliza. I think I enjoy places like this almost as much as the kids do (and I’m counting my husband as one of the kids…lol!). Their necks just cry out for a nuzzle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up with this form of public transport. We could ‘hop a tram’ anywhere in the city it was slow enough to grab the handrail and pull ourselves through the always open doorway -and then ‘hop off’ anywhere it was going slow enough……. no health and safety regs in those far off days! Sometime in the early 70’s our trams were seen as old fashioned and they were discontinued and the tracks all pulled up in favour of ‘trolley buses’ those large cumbersome vehicles that were always losing connection between their electrical power supply and stopping abruptly to cause traffic back up at the most inconvenient times. Eventually they also fell out of favour – understandably – and the cities opted for diesel buses. No glamour, no excitement and escalating travel costs. I keep hearing rumbles from various cities that the trams may come back. It would be nice!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve heard that about trams too, Pauline. I hope they do make a comeback. Alas, I’m afraid that driverless cars might end up being the thing here. I was reading an article recently about how driverless cars will likely decrease pedestrian areas even more (since the cars have trouble recognizing people as something they shouldn’t hit). They won’t help solve pollution and climate change problems, either. The conductor at the trolley museum was much more optimistic and seems to feel both trains and trolleys are going to be coming back in a big way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know much, if anything, about driverless cars Robin – but there is a chuckle of black humour at the thought of them being a thing and randomly mowing down pedestrians. Let’s sing in praise of trams and trains! There’s a growing intention here to bring back the trains………..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember seeing trolleys somewhere in Philadelphia, Merril, and crossing the tracks, the last time I was there visiting with a friend. I don’t remember what part of the city her studio is in (and I’m thinking it was somewhere near there that we saw the trolley and tracks). I was surprised to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t, Elisa. I’m afraid I probably didn’t notice much. I was seated in the back of the car, the roads are twisty, and I was not feeling well (car sick).


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