Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PCCs Removed From Brooklyn Waterfront, Donated to CT Museum

(SOURCE:  Trains.com Newswire)

NEW YORK — Three derelict PCC streetcars recently removed from the Brooklyn waterfront have caused a stir in the rail preservation community in the Northeast. The cars in question, which once called Cleveland, Minneapolis, Buffalo, and Boston home, were to be the cornerstone of the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association's planned museum in the Red Hook neighborhood.

The cars, which were heavily damaged in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, were removed by the property owner, local land developer, The O’Connell Organization. "These trolley cars, along with a significant donation, were conveyed to the Branford Electric Railway Association," the group says. The Branford group operates the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven, Conn.

However, the Branford museum says the cars are still on borrowed time. "They will be stored and given one more try via the internet and other media to find them a home," the organization says. "If by the end of spring we are unsuccessful, the cars will have any salvageable components removed for use in the streetcar preservation community and the remainder disposed of. The cars are not and will not be located at our museum, but are at a safe site, away from vandals and thieves."

"We would like to commend and thank the O’Connell Organization for their sincere efforts in trying to save these cars, including a substantial donation to pay for their movement to a temporary refuge," the museum says. "The O’Connell Organization truly did the right thing. At this point it will be up to the museum community or interested others to step up and save these cars or to let them go."

Bob Diamond, founder of the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association, says, "I had no idea this removal happened.” At first, he even made a public plea for more information regarding their removal. According to Diamond, he purchased the three cars from commuter agencies in Boston and Buffalo as the main attraction of the Brooklyn museum. They have sat, largely unused, on the Brooklyn waterfront at the foot of Van Brunt Street for more than a decade.

According to Diamond, there is a fourth streetcar on the Beard Street Pier in a former trolley barn, but he us currently unable to speak to the fate of that car. He hopes that O’Connell will pay to relocate it somewhere for display.

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