Photo Courtesy Trolley Car #93 Restoration Project.

Restoration of Trolley 93, Part of Old Warren-Jamestown Street Railway, Nearly Complete

April 16, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – The trolley system between Warren and Jamestown dates back to the late 1800s to 1929.

With the help of Jamestown native Bob Johnston of the Jamestown Street Railway Company, a little piece of its history is being preserved.

Johnston gave a presentation at the Warren County Courthouse, detailing his saving and restoration of “Trolley 93,” as it was called.

“I don’t know how I got it in my head to restore this thing but I did,” Johnston said. “I was coming back from a seminar in Buffalo and stopped at a scrapyard in Cassadaga and asked if he knew anyone who could help me get a trolley car out of the woods.”

The old trolley was at a campsite in the woods in Western New York, and Johnston did, in fact, get it out of there.

“It only cost me $400 to pull it out on a trailer into Jamestown,” Johnston said.

The trolley car was part of the old Warren-Jamestown Street Railway, which ran from 1905 to 1929.

“The first streetcars in Warren were in 1893 and basically it was an East-West route through town,” Johnston explained. “In 1897 they put in a North line to North Warren at the corner of Liberty and Pennsylvania Ave. It went from Liberty to Third Ave., up to Market St. to North Warren. In 1904, they decided to put in the trolley between Warren and Jamestown.”

A photo of one of the old trolley cars that ran between Warren and Jamestown that Bob Johnston showed during his presentation. “Old photos are like a moment in time,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the average trip from Warren to Jamestown was 15 minutes, and a round-fair ticket cost 75 cents.

“They averaged 15 trips per day,” Johnston said. “The cars were an exterior dark green with gold lettering and accommodated up to 56 people. There were five passenger cars and one baggage car. Trolley 93 was more bus-like.”

The restoration itself has taken a lot of time and a lot of years, but it’s been a labor of love.

“We fashioned brand new posts to replace the old ones, took pieces of wood home, soaked them in the pond, and bent them back into shape,” Johnston said. “We thought we were all set.”

There was the matter of storing it, however.

“Once we attach the trucks to the trolley, it will be hard to move, so we needed a good place to store it,” Johnston said.

They found a willing partner with Ideal Coatings in Falconer, where the trolley is currently being housed.

With restoration nearly complete, preliminary plans are in the works to display the historic trolley in the community, but nothing is set in stone as of yet.

“We’ve worked pretty steadily to make this a reality,” Johnston said.

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