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Edition #227  August 1, 2014

My First Pittsburgh Trolley Photo

Photographer: Larry Kline

                                                                                   Photo by Larry Kline


My First Pittsburgh Trolley Photo

I became a trolley fan and a trolley modeler after my parents moved in 1955 to a new home in a new school district. Soon after I started the 8th grade I met several classmates who were also model railroaders. One of their fathers was a Philadelphia trolley motorman. I began to explore the Philadelphia trolley system and we could ride for free with my friendís dad. I also added trolley models to my existing model railroad. I learned about the trolley systems that were still running in other cities including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, Newark, Baltimore, Washington DC, New Orleans and San Francisco.

In 1959 I asked my parents if we could go to Pittsburgh and Cleveland on our summer vacation and they said yes. On August 17th we took the Pennsylvania Turnpike from our home in Abington, north of Philadelphia, to Pittsburgh. My father got off the Turnpike at the Irwin Exit and we headed toward Pittsburgh on Route 30. When we got to Forest Hills I saw the tracks and overhead wire of Pittsburgh Railways Route 87 Ardmore. After I arranged a meeting time and place with my parents I got on an outbound 87 car.

I rode to the end of the 87 line at the loop in Wilmerding. I didnít have my own camera yet, so I was using my parents snapshot camera. It used 127 roll film and was fixed everything, focus, shutter speed, and aperture. It wasnít useful for anything but still shots. The photo of Pittsburgh Railways 1023 in Wilmerding is my first photograph of a Pittsburgh trolley. I still have the negative so I scanned it to get an image. The scan is considerably better than the machine print that was made in 1959.

Larry Kline

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