The Ohio Museum of Transportation
Ohio's Transit History
Toledo Trolley Coaches
Trolley coach operations started in Toledo on February 1, 1935 on the Dorr Street line. The Community Traction Company (CTC), which operated the transit system, was literally talked into starting operations by Mack, who was trying to get a foothold into the city transit industry. This was made easier as Dorr Street was in need of repaving and the rail replacement would have been expensive so the switch was made.
The Dorr Street line started operations with six 40 passenger Mack CR3S's. There were to be seven but one was diverted to Portland Oregon as a demonstrator. Mack sent two additional CR3S's in mid 1935. The Dorr Street line was a 4.2 mile line but needed an additional 3.5 miles of non-revenue overhead to allow the coaches access to the barn. The demonstrator was eventually returned to Toledo.
The next line to be converted was the Broadway line on October 27, 1938. The streetcar operations had ceased in 1936 and was converted to bus operations before the second conversion to trolley coaches. This line was longer, approximately 6 miles but it had the same distinction of needing miles of non-revenue overhead to gain access to and from the car barn. Nine 40 passenger Mack CR3S's were purchased for the operations on this line.
In 1945, Toledo ran a demonstrator trolley coach from Westinghouse. Known as a Westram, this car operated from 1945 through 1948 and then went to Wilkes-Barre PA. The Westram model W40 was designed as an export vehicle for sale overseas. Only Mexico City and Buenos Aires ever purchased the Westram model from Westinghouse.
1946 saw the delivery of 3 additional trolley coaches. These were used cars from Memphis TN and were 1935 40 passenger St. Louis Car Co trolley coaches. These were purchased as a back up for the existing 19 car trolley coach fleet (18 owned and 1 demo).
Toledo never seemed to take to the trolley coach. They only ever had 2 routes and a very small fleet. Even with this, costs of operations were higher than other Ohio cities. The CTC de-wired the trolley coach operations on May 28, 1952 based on falling ridership, high maintenance costs and the fact that the newest trolley coach in the fleet was 14 years old. This was the first city in Ohio to get rid of it's trolley coach system and throughout the 50's, many others followed.
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This page updated on August 13, 2004