Legendary Trolleys of Pittsburgh5 of 5 (1)
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Pittsburgh, with 41 Lines and almost 700 streamlined cars, was, despite a modest population, one of the largest traction empires anywhere in the world. Trolleys ran everywhere, almost like taxicabs. Scheduled and timed with precision, they dashed between isolated communities far beyond Pittsburgh itself to published timetables. The system used bridges spun like spider webs across the great rivers. It stormed the cliffs that confine Pittsburgh using 12% grades and specifically designed motor and electric brakes. It burrowed the mountains that make Pittsburgh such a scenic delight for its residents and a torment of endless honeycomb for track planners. Photographed when the system was at its zenith in 1958, in brilliant summer sunshine with razor sharp lenses by Frank Pfuhler. This feature has all the well known routes, many minor ones and includes a ride on one of the last inclined planes. Here they cheerfully carried carts, dogs, horses, people, cars and trucks almost vertically (71% grade) up the face of the cliffs. Johnstown, PA, another legendary system, was photographed at the same time and is shown with a touch of winter at the very end of this DVD.
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Legendary Trolleys of Pittsburgh
Pete Devlin (Algoma, WI) on 2014-03-01 20:58:11.
People who found this review helpful: 3
I loved being able to step back to the pre-March 1, 1964 start-up of the streetcar killing Port Authoity Transit. I rode most of the lines shown in the video. If I have any gripe at all (and believe me, it's a little one) it's that there is very little footage of the lines which ran in the streets. Nearly all of the Pittsburgh video is of the many private rights-of-way. The lines I used to commute back then mostly ran in the streets -- Forbes and Fifth Avenues, mainly. I had hoped to view the east end lines, but they weren't there in this video. However, what is there is splendid. And the footage in Johnstown was a welcome bonus. I'd love it if a volume Two were produced.