Kenosha receives donation of two streetcars

Streetcar 4617, recently donated to the city at no cost, is towed to storage by one of the city's existing streetcars. /Earlene Frederick photo

The City of Kenosha received a gift of two streetcars this past week. They are President’s Conference Committee (PCC) Streetcars.

No. 4617 arrived on Oct. 10, and No. 2185 arrived on Oct. 12. These two cars were previously at the East Troy Electric Railway.

All of the Kenosha streetcar numbers remain unchanged from the cities they came from. No. 4617 was built for Toronto, Canada, in 1951. It was finished at the Canadian Car and Foundry with a shell provided by the St. Louis Car Company. This car was aquired by an individual (Tom Matola) and given to the railroad in 1999. It was one of 19 cars rebuilt in 1986.

No. 2185 was a Philadelphia car built in 1948 for the Philadelphia Transport Company by the St. Louis Car Company. Rebuilt in the mid 1980s, it saw service for the Southestern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) until 1992, when it was aquired by East Troy in 1994.

These cars were operated by the East Troy Electric Railroad occasionally over the years. Their use was inhibited by the lack of turning loops at each end of the line in Elkhorn. Many PCC streetcars were built as “single-ended” cars (controls at one end). Considerable time, money and most of all, real estate, would have had to go into placing loops at each end. The only cars that need the loops would be the PCC’s.

Nos. 4617 and 2185 are running streetcars. No. 4617 served in regular service in 2011 several times. For its 60th birthday, East Troy had cake and ice cream at the depot, and No. 4617 was on the cover of the yearly newspaper.

The high cost of turning loops factored in the decision by John DeLamater to purchase the two streetcars and donate them to the Kenosha Area Transit. DeLamater also arranged and paid for the transportation of the cars to Kenosha.

To view a video of the delivery of the streetcars, click here.

Streetcar 2185, recently donated to the city at no cost, awaits transfer to the city's rail system. /Earlene Frederick photo

Note: Special thanks to Brad Preston, mechanic for the streetcars, for providing information for this article, along with the picture and video. Also, thank you to Earlene Frederick for the tip that led to this story.


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