Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fishtown's Old Trolley Lines

Route 25 and more

Turning from Cedar St onto Lehigh Ave to Memphis St. **

A street resurfacing project began during Spring of 2017 in Fishtown. The removal of the top street surface revealed the wooden paving blocks on Marlborough St by The Old Brick Church between Allen and Richmond St. This was a very interesting discovery for learning a new piece of Fishtown's development history. I was hoping for something different to resurface.

Marlborough St

I was hoping that old Rt 8 trolley tracks would re-appear on Susquehanna and Norris St. This didn't happen at first but it got me to re-think about the visible tracks at the corner of Thompson and York St.
Thompson and York Streets
Rt 25 on York St **
 Both pictures ** are at the corner of York and Almond St.

It took sometime to get this right. I once, as many have, identified these as old train track. It was an easy assumption since frieght trains ran on York St up until the 1980's. Port Richmond Plaza was once a train yard. Water department workers replacing pipes on Thompson St told me that they did find old tracks around this area.

An old PTC map showed that they are Rt 25 track that turned off from Norris St onto Thompson St. This track would turn left on York St and then right on Cedar St to loop back over Lehigh Ave onto Memphis St. I remembered as a kid that there was a cross track at Susquehanna and  Memphis St.  A small remnant of track is now visible at this very corner.
Susquehanna Ave and Memphis St

The Rt 25 ran on Memphis St then turned onto Norris St (Fishtown Market) to Susquehanna (Rt 8) to Girard Ave. (Rt 15) It then followed Girard until turning South onto 2nd St sharing the track with the Rt 5 all the way down to Ritner St. Both The Rt 5 & 25 looped back North on 3rd St. The Rt 25 would turn back East onto Girard and then to Norris to Thompson St.
*Route 25 was originally known as Rt 18 and operated from Cedar-Lehigh to 22nd & Snyder. It was changed to Rt 25 and re-routed to 2nd & Ritner on January 28, 1923
Girard Ave between 3rd and 4th St (notice cross track) **

The trolley line was shorten in 1930 by utilizing a cross track on Girard Ave between 3rd and 4th St. This was easy to do since it was a double-end trolley. *The Route 25 trolley was converted to motor bus operation on April 10, 1949.  
The Rt 5, 8, 15 & 25 are the only trolley's that I'm clearly aware of that ran through Fishtown.  It wouldn't surprise me if other unknown trolley routes and loops once passed through Fishtown.  Go a few blocks outside of Fishtown, in three directions, and you'll find a whole lot more like the Rt 39. (33rd and Dauphin to Cumberland and Richmond.)
Cumberland near Richmond St (converted to bus 1956) **
Rt 39 cross track over train track at Huntingdon and Moyer St
Rt 5 at Frankford and Huntingdon St
Rt 5 at Bridge and Pratt terminal (converted to bus approximately 1956)
Rt 5 track between Berks and Norris St

Rt 5 ran a single track on Frankford Ave from Amber St to Jefferson St to 2nd St. A single track also ran on Amber street from Front to Lehigh Ave. A trolley loop on Coral St parallels Amber St from Huntingdon to Norris St (Rt 5: Bridge and Pratt to Second and Ritner St).
Rt 8 at Front and Dauphin turns right on Front St to Norris St. Rt 39 turned left on Front to Kensington Ave to Cumberland St **
Rt 8 on Richmond St before turning back on Norris St. (converted to bus 1956) **
33rd and Dauphin Rt 39, 8 and 7 (to 22nd and Snyder Ave) **

 Rt 8 ran on Susquehanna and Norris St: Richmond and Norris to 33rd and Dauphin St. The Rt 8 ran on York St at 22nd St which was one block away from Connie Mack Stadium (Shibe Park).

Rt 15 detour onto Susquehanna Ave during the construction of I-95
Rt 15 at Girard and Front.
Rt 15 loop at Frankford and Delaware Ave.

Rt 15 ran from 63rd and Girard to Richmond and Bridge St. The Rt 15 uses the Callowhill Depot since 1955 and is the only trolley line of the four to remain in service.
New track will be laid on Richmond St to complete its present day run to Allegany Ave upon completion of work on I-95. Service is slated to return by 2018.
Allegany and Richmond Trolley Barn (Allegany to Westmoreland St) **

This track (below) which turned from Girard left onto Frankford once ran all the way to a pier on the river. It was single track. The pier was located near where the Sugarhouse Casino is today, and was owned by PRT/PTC. Ties, poles and sand were delivered via the river. Various types of work trolleys would run on Frankford ave to pick up these supplies and deliver them to the various depots. That track was not part of any trolley route.*** It was recently uncovered too.
 Frankford and Girard Ave
A glimpse of Rt 8 track was uncovered on Susquehanna Ave by the the old Church of the Living Word during street work. I'm satisfied for now until more scrapping and repaving comes along.
*Another line which operated through the Fishtown area was the original Rt 59 which last operated from 2nd & Dock to Bridge-Milnor (Frankford Arsenal) on May 20, 1920.

words and some pictures by roman blazic_all rights reserved
some photos unknown credit
* corrections and additional information henry adamcik
** indicates henry adamcik photo collection
*** as shared by harry donahue from the late ernie mozer 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017