West Penn Railways 739

Trolley Display Building Exhibit November 2010 As built, 1925 (West Penn Power Company collection)

 

Car Number 739 Car Builder West Penn Railways Company
Year Built 1925 Year Acquired 1982
Type DE Center Door Interurban Seats 70
Length 57'10" Width 8'6"
Height 12'6" Weight 52,500 lbs (26.3 tons)
Max Speed XX mph Status Trolley Display Building Exhibit

West Penn Railways operated more than 150 miles of streetcar lines in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, connecting the larger towns such as Greensburg, Connellsville and Uniontown to the smaller towns and the multitude of coal "patches" that dotted the map.

West Penn had 40 cars like 739 plus numerous smaller cars, all of which at the peak in 1923 carried 55 million riders annually.  At 58 feet, these were among the longest streetcars to operate in the state.  Car 739 spent a few years in the late 1920s spruced up as a parlor car named "Faywest," running in special limited-stop service in the company's last major attempt to compete head-on with the automobile.

After retirement in 1952, 739 spent 36 years as a home near Jeannette before coming to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in 1989. Since being placed on exhibit in the TDB volunteers have done extensive work on the exterior of the car. As pictured above you see the divide between lots of scraping and painting and the "as received" condition of the car. A part of the exhibit shows reprinted newspaper articles from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh that tell the story of the Smail Family turning a retired streetcar into a home. The wide open interior of the car currently serves as a workshop for ongoing effort to restore the exterior appearance of the cars.

West Penn 739 in service as parlor car "Faywest"
(New York Studios photo)
Interior of West Penn 739 as parlor car "Faywest"
(New York Studios photo)
West Penn 739 as a house in 1974
(look for the center door).
(Edward H. Lybarger photo)
Interior end of West Penn 739, Trolley Display Building
(John Smatlak photo)

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Last updated November 25, 2010
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