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Newark City Subway
Album

Venerable work car 5223 sits at Franklin Avenue as PCC 19 passes. Spring 2001.
Rob Hutchinson photo.

Newark's Endearing Time Machines

During the 1990s, venerable PCC cars continued to ply the Newark City Subway, but observers called their days numbered as New Jersey Transit made plans to upgrade the 4.3 mile line with uber-modern light rail vehicles. Newark was one of North America's dwindling handful of regular revenue PCC operations. It seemed likely that NJT's PCCs would bow out during the decade, joining their sisters from Toronto, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in retirement.

As reconstruction of the line for LRVs progressed, a Fall 2000 changeover date was predicted. Delays pushed this back to Spring 2001. Having never visited Newark, friends urged this diehard tram buff to get there post haste. I managed to find time to make repeat visits to favourite systems Toronto, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, and my first extended visit to Philadelphia, but never got to Newark.

Newark's PCC farewell was delayed again and again, with railfans buzzing about April, May and then June dates. Realizing that this Indian Summer reprieve would not last indefinitely, I made my brief pilgrimage to Newark on April 23, 2001. There, to my wonderment and delight, I finally rode and photographed Newark's lovingly maintained 1940s trolleys, on a golden spring day at the dawn of a new millenium.

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