Car No. 351 is a classic American trolley: a 1926 double-end, arch roof steel car from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, of a design very similar to cars once operated by the old Market Street Railway Company.
Car 351 might be called the real-life “Neighborhood Trolley” featured in “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” for many decades. It would be fitting, because the late Fred Rogers lived in Pittsburgh (a streetcar city itself), just 70 miles west of Johnstown.
The Johnstown Traction Company managed to keep its streetcar system operating long after the vast majority of other US cities, both large and small, had given up and converted to buses. Johnstown is the smallest city ever to operate the streamlined PCC streetcars seen every day on Muni’s E and F lines. Car 351 ran alongside PCCs until the system shut down in 1960. It is complete with original rattan seats and wood trim and has received protective preservation by our nonprofit, Market Street Railway, since it was acquired in the late 1980s.
That acquisition is a story in itself. A Sonoma County resident, Herb Redlich, purchased this streetcar from Johnstown after service ended, stuck a set of rubber-tired wheels under the streetcar, and towed it all the way from Pennsylvania to his property in Freestone, where he sheltered it in a quonset hut. Herb’s dream was to build his own streetcar track on his property but he passed away before his dream could be realized. Market Street Railway purchased the streetcar from his widow to save it for Muni, and after years of protective maintenance, in 2018 Muni included it in a contract expected to be awarded in 2020 to fully restore and operate it.
Johnstown Traction Company, Johnstown PA, 1926
Acquired by Market Street Railway from
Mrs. Herb Redlich, Freestone, CA, late 1980s
St. Louis Car Co.
4 – 35 HP Westinghouse 510A2
St. Louis Car EDJ-64