In This Issue
Johnstown Magazine

Trolley graveyard

These old trolleys may be down, but they’re not quite out – thanks to Ed Metka of Windber, the keeper of the cars.

By Jim Rada

Where 19th Street ends in Windber is where a frightening, fascinating journey begins. With permission, you drive past the gated entrance to a long 20-acre piece of private property. You bounce around as you make your way back into a forest on the rutted dirt road. About 100 yards back, you see a rusted hulk of a streetcar laying on its side.

Besides wondering what caused the streetcar to look like it had been discarded by a gigantic child, another question arises: Where did it come from? After all, Windber hasn’t had a trolley since the 1936 flood washed out the Johnstown-to-Windber trolley line.

You move around the streetcar, only to see more streetcars — some on their roofs, others on their sides, a few still upright. Had some massive unreported accident happened here years ago?

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