P&W "Strafford" Car #162
The J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia constructed car 162 in 1927 for the Philadelphia and Western Railroad as its car 62. It was one of eleven identical cars in its class built in three separate orders for the P&W, as the Philadelphia and Western was known to its riders.
As originally constructed, the car had ground level steps, end doors, and trolley poles, as well as parcel racks inside the car and a separate smoking compartment. The car was designed for operation by both a motorman and a conductor and had a top or “balancing” speed of 44 miles per hour as constructed.
Car 62 and the other 10 cars of this class became virtually obsolete with the arrival of the high-speed “Bullet” cars in 1931 (car 205 in our collection is one of these cars). Thus, the entire class of cars was rebuilt between 1931 and 1935. Car 62 was rebuilt in 1931 and renumbered as car 162. The rebuilding included a lowering of the cars center of gravity via new floors and smaller wheels, removal of the end doors, steps, trolley poles, and side entrance doors. The maximum speed of the car was also increased to 68 miles per hour in order to maintain the new, faster schedules. Car 162 and the other cars of its class spent most of their lives after their rebuilding in use on the Strafford Branch of the P&W, hence the nickname, Strafford cars. Following the abandonment of the Strafford Branch in 1956, the car was used primarily for short-turn local trips and especially during snow emergencies.
Car 162 was the last car of its class in service when it was retired in 1990. It currently is not in service but is operable under its own power. It will join our operating fleet of cars as time, money, and volunteer effort permit.
Above, Car #162 as it looked in 1945. Photo from the RTY Library Collection.