CTRC - The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation.
Preserving the historical heritage of railroading and trolleys in the Santa Clara Valley of California.

1922 San Jose Trolley Car (#143)

ImageThis trolley car was built by the St. Louis Car Co. in 1922 and served in Fresno California for all of its useful life.  It is called a Birney car as it was designed by Mr. Charles Birney who worked for the Stone and Webster Co. at the time.  In addition to St. Louis Car Co, Birney cars were built by the Brill Corp., the American Car Co. and others.  The intent of the design was to reduce the costs of trolley operation, lower prices and stem the flow of riders from trolleys to private autos.  To do this, several safety systems were added to allow the car to be licensed for use with a single operator.  Thus, capital costs were increased somewhat (added systems) to permit a significant decrease in labor costs.

 

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