What It Was Like Growing Up Taking The Trolley In Cleveland

The Trolleys of Cleveland

What It Was Like Growing Up Taking The Trolley In Cleveland by @SRobbinsAuthor #trolley #electricvehicles #cleveland

Courtesy of Cleveland.com

For anyone who wasn’t around to remember the city in the late 1950s, this photo would look like it came from another planet. City transportation in the first half of the 20th century relied heavily on various types of trolleys and electric buses.

This is how I remember what the true inner city looked like, not the big buildings of Public Square. To its credit, at the time, Cleveland had a great system of public transportation. We could take the “Rapid” or the bus from the eastern suburbs and get to just about anywhere in the City.

Some trolleys rode on tracks like railroad cars, and some were more like buses that depended on an overhead grid of wires to deliver electricity for their motors. The overhead grid gave off a unique odor, and I still remember the crackling sounds of the sparks from the rod you can see in the picture and the cowbell sound ringing as they stopped or took off.

The streets were paved with a well-worn red brick that made the tires of passing cars hum loudly. It was a different world.

What It Was Like Growing Up Taking The Trolley In Cleveland by @SRobbinsAuthor #trolley #electricvehicles #cleveland

A 2009 photo of old trolley cars owned by Lake Shore Electric Railway Inc., near the William Mather Museum in Cleveland (Lonnie Timmons III, The Plain Dealer)

Electric-Powered Trolley – Then And Now

As gasoline and diesel fuels became readily available and cheap, electrical vehicles became obsolete. It’s clearly ironic that we’re now returning to electrical power.

If the system still existed, it would be considered avant-garde today.


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