In 1929, Scranton Railway Company began a modernization program with the purchase of ten "Electromobiles" built by the Osgood Bradley Car Company of Worcester, Massachusetts. These were the most modern streetcars available at that time. Over the next twenty-five years, these ten cars, numbered 501-510, provided excellent trolley service over the remaining lines of Scranton Railway Company. On December 18, 1954, the last run of the Green Ridge Suburban trolley line was made and the service was provided by several of these Electromobiles. The following months after the "last run", all the remaining trolley cars were burned for scrap metal except for car 505. The 505 was purchased by an individual from upstate New York who was a private collector of railroad and streetcar equipment. Upon the death of the museum's owner, the family decided the entire collection was to be sold to other museum organizations. In the mid-1960's, 505 went to the Magee Transportation Museum in Bloomsburg, PA. Restoration was started on the car but halted when the museum acquired several other streetcars needing restoration. The Magee museum operation came to an abrupt end in 1972 when the entire region was flooded by a major hurricane. The Magee family decided not to rebuild and once again the 505 along with all the other streetcars was sold. This time another trolley museum in central Pennsylvania purchased the 505. The 505 was loaded onto a flatbed tractor trailer and it began its trip from Bloomsburg to central Pennsylvania. The truck broke down near Burnham, PA and the 505 spent the next twenty years sitting in a railway track salvage yard. Exposed to all the elements, the body of the 505 deteriorated. The wood and canvas roof rotted away. The main floor and the platform floor supports rusted out and the ends of 505 sat on the ground. Fortunately, during the time 505 was at the Magee Museum, all the seats, windows and all the interior wood detail parts were removed and were not subject to the ravages of Mother Nature! Once the "remains" of 505 arrived at its "third" home in central Pennsylvania, it was the decision of the museum's board of directors, due to the deteriorated condition of the car body, and other trolleys that needed restoration work, not to restore 505. The 505 was offered to the Electric City Trolley Museum Association and arrangements were made between the two organizations to acquire 505 for the Scranton Trolley Museum.
As of March of 2012, a "505 Committee" was authorized by the Board of Directors of the Electric City Trolley Museum Association. The 505 Committee is to proceed with raising needed funding for the complete restoration of the 505 to "operating condition". The 505 Committee is to organize a plan for the restoration work to be carried out in the Scranton area by local union crafts and a volunteer work force. The 505 Project theme is "Rebuilt with PRIDE in the Greater Scranton area". Plans are now underway to arrange the transportation of the car body and the two motor trucks, (the wheels), to Scranton. Once the car is moved to "temporary" storage, an inspection of the body frame will be made to determine what can be salvaged and what has to be fabricated. Many skills will be needed for this project to become a reality such as local welders, metal and wood workers, electricians, plumbers and painters. As bad as it looks, the good news is we have the motors, electric controls, air brake equipment, windows and seats. Some of the missing parts are available from the Association's parts inventory. Best of all, we have the original Osgood Bradley Car Company plans of the Electromobiles!
If you are interested in being part of the "Project 505" contact James Wert, Chairman, 505 Project, Electric City Trolley Station and Museum Association, 300 Cliff Street, Scranton, PA 18503. Donations may be sent to: ECTMA, Project 505, PO Box 20019, Scranton, PA 18502. Please make your check payable to: ECTMA-Project 505. The Electric City Trolley Museum Association is a non-profit educational organization and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Tax code as a 501(c)(3) organization. The official registration and financial information of Electric City Trolley Museum Association may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
During the WW II years (1941-45) the #505 was painted for the recruiting of women for the war effort. -B. S. Chase photo collection.
Another view of #505 painted for the recruiting of women for the war effort. End of Green Ridge suburban line, N. Washington Ave. at Fairfield St.-James L. Langan
The interior of one of the Electromobiles. Quite a contrast to the older Scranton streetcars. -James Wert photo collection.
Car 505 at the end of the line at Nay Aug Park shortly before the line was converted to bus in 1953. -Railways To Yesterday photo collection.
#505 on the Green Ridge suburban line. - Ed Miller photo.
#505 at Rail City Museum, Sandy Pond, NY in 1959.
Car 505 at Magee Transportation Museum - Bloomsburg, PA.
Car 505 as it is today. - Dave Biles photos.
Car 505's trucks. - Dave Biles photos.