Print This Page

WC History: When trolleys roamed the Brandywine Valley

West Chester Trolley on East Gay Street at HighFirst published June 25, 2014; updated May 24, 2015 | Malcolm Johnstone

West Chester PA -- In 1954 the last regular trolley service from Philadelphia to West Chester was replaced by bus service. It was an end of a remarkable and all-but-forgotten part of West Chester transportation history.

David Sadowski, President and Editor for the Central Electric Railfans’ Association (CERA), has written an extraordinary article called Victim of Success -- with 17 equally extraordinary trolley photographs -- about the Red Arrow Trolley Line that was part of the rail services along the West Chester Pike from about 1895 to 1954.

See the story at CERA Chicago.

Between 1902 and 1929, trolleys ran from West Chester to Downingtown, Lenape and beyond. Phil Dague, known as Mr. Downingtown, has written an article on the West Chester/Downingtown Trolley Line called "Clang, Clang, Clang, went the Trolley. . . ." that charts the history of the trolley line and offers 13 historic and modern images, much of which is now a public county trail accessible from Route 322 near Downingtown.

High Street Arch  An image taken sometime after 1910 of an arch located on High Street just north of Market Street, looking south with the facade of the F&M Building visible on the right. A trolley appears to be leaving the "Trolley Barn" which is now the Bicentennial Garage located next to the F&M Building.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

See also: A Brief History of Transportation in West Chester by Jim Jones.

Thank you to Ray Ott for the heads up.

 
 

© 2018 West Chester B.I.D. All rights reserved
Call 610.738.3350 or fax 484.843.2250