D.C. Transit 1304 makes its BIG Debut!

D.C. Transit 1304 on a test run to Talbott Park, June 2020.

If you’re looking for an adventure this weekend to celebrate the 4th of July, look no further than the Seashore Trolley Museum! Founded in 1939, this mostly outdoor site is the oldest historic transportation museum of its kind in the world and curates the largest antique trolley collection.

This season, trolleys are operating for the general public on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM-5PM. The trolley ride is a 40-minute adventure through the beautiful Maine outdoors. Guests are welcome to take more than one ride if there isn’t a line!

To celebrate America’s birthday (and the Museum’s 81st Birthday!), D.C. Transit 1304 will be out for public rides on Saturday, July 4th. Museum staff and volunteers just finished restoring the car in June, and this is the first day it will be operating for public rides in nearly 10 years. Be part of history this weekend and take a ride on this national gem!

Trolleys are disinfected before and after each ride, and masks are required on trolley rides and inside the Visitors Center. To view the Museum’s complete list of COVID-19 policies and to purchase tickets in advance for this weekend and other days this summer, visit https://seashore2020tickets.eventbrite.com

More about D.C. Transit 1304:

D.C Transit 1304 is a “PCC.” A PCC is a streetcar design that was first built in the United States in the 1930s. The group that designed the PCC was called the Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) and was comprised of key representatives of several large operators of U.S. urban electric street railways plus potential manufacturers. Their goal was to design a streamlined, comfortable, quiet, and fast accelerating and braking streetcar that would be operated by a seated operator using floor mounted pedal controls to better meet the needs of the street railways and appeal to riders. They succeeded. The PCC car has proved to be a long-lasting icon of streetcar design, and many are still in service around the world, including the Ashmont-Mattapan line in Boston. Seashore Trolley Museum has several PCCs in our collection, but none have operated for the public during our most recent seasons… until now!
No. 1304, built by St. Louis in 1941 for the Capital Transit Company, came via General Electric Company’s Erie, Pennsylvania, Works. GE acquired the car to be used as a test vehicle to develop the automatic train control equipment later used on New Jersey’s high speed Lindenwold rapid transit line, which connects New Jersey suburbs to Philadelphia. Streetcar restorations are challenging enough, but 1304 came with additional challenges, as the wiring in the car had been modified to meet the needs for a test vehicle. After engaging several industry experts, our staff and volunteers have unraveled the mysteries of the car and 1304 runs again!
Following its debut on Saturday, July 4th, the car will be sent back to the Restoration Shop for one last inspection before the car will be released to limited service for the rest of the 2020 season. Check our social media pages for days/times 1304 will be running. Visit us in person and check out the display inside 1304, which tells its history in more depth with accompanying photos. The car will also be the collection spotlight in the next issue of The Dispatch.
For more information, please email 1304’s Project Sponsor and our President & CEO, Jim Schantz, at [email protected].