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On the trolley: Massachusetts man moves, prepares car for restoration – New Castle News

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Updated: September 13, 2023 @ 2:04 am
Pittsburgh Port Authority Car No. 1734 has been out of commission since 1988, according to its owner, Steve Kuznetsov.
Steve Kuznetsov purchased this trolley in 1995 from the Pittsburgh Port Authority, and has since kept it stored in a warehouse owned by Bruce and Merrilees on Cass Street in New Castle.
Steve Kuznetsov, right, works to jack up the trolley in order to be loaded onto a tractor-trailer Friday morning. The trolley was moved to Hall Industries in Ellwood City, where it will be restored.
Steve Kuznetsov watches as Terry McClymonds of McClymonds Supply and Transit backs up his tractor-trailer underneath this 1948 trolley car.
Workers begin loading this former Pittsburgh trolley car onto a tractor-trailer. The trolley’s owner, Steve Kuznetsov, of Marlborough, Mass., had it transported to Hall Industries in Ellwood City Friday, where it will be restored. He plans to donate the trolley once the restoration work is completed.

Pittsburgh Port Authority Car No. 1734 has been out of commission since 1988, according to its owner, Steve Kuznetsov.
Steve Kuznetsov purchased this trolley in 1995 from the Pittsburgh Port Authority, and has since kept it stored in a warehouse owned by Bruce and Merrilees on Cass Street in New Castle.
Steve Kuznetsov, right, works to jack up the trolley in order to be loaded onto a tractor-trailer Friday morning. The trolley was moved to Hall Industries in Ellwood City, where it will be restored.
Steve Kuznetsov watches as Terry McClymonds of McClymonds Supply and Transit backs up his tractor-trailer underneath this 1948 trolley car.
Workers begin loading this former Pittsburgh trolley car onto a tractor-trailer. The trolley’s owner, Steve Kuznetsov, of Marlborough, Mass., had it transported to Hall Industries in Ellwood City Friday, where it will be restored. He plans to donate the trolley once the restoration work is completed.
Pittsburgh Port Authority Car No. 1734, stored for 20 years at the Bruce & Merrilees warehouse on Cass Street, was back on the road Friday.
New Castle has been home to the former trolley car since 1995, but it was moved to Ellwood City for an overhaul.
A President’s Conference Committee streetcar design, it was one of 666 cars built in 1948 by the St. Louis Car Company, with electrical parts from Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. The car, which can carry 40 passengers, serviced Pittsburgh for about 40 years, and logged more than 1 million miles. It was taken out of service in 1988.
The trolley car belongs to Dr. Stephen Kuznetsov of Marlborough, Mass., who was the owner of the former Power Superconductor Application Corporation, which was located in the Bruce Commerce Park.
“I’ve just always loved old trolleys,” Kuznetsov said Friday morning, standing beside the white and yellow car that was resting on wooden blocks inside the warehouse. “I grew up in the East End of Pittsburgh, and so I used to ride them all the time, up and down Forbes and Fifth avenues.”
An electrical engineer whose career has kept him involved in the rail industry, Kuznetsov has owned several of these cars. He had two others, which were previously stored in the same location, restored and donated to trolley museums in Colorado and Iowa.
Kuznetsov said he will likely donate car No. 1734, as well. He said many places are interested in it, including several trolley museums, and the San Francisco Municipal Railway, which operates a fleet of 100 trolleys that includes the most complete set of President’s Conference Committee cars in the country.
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Terry McClymonds of McClymonds Supply and Transit moved the 15-ton, 50-foot-long vehicle via Interstate 79 to Hall Industries, which manufactures, designs and engineers products for the transportation industry. While the company does not typically restore old trolley cars, Kuznetsov said it does make parts, like wheel sets and axles, for them.
Scott Kennedy, director of aviation products and rail transportation for Hall Industries, said the restoration project will take 12 to 18 months. He said the company will do a structural analysis and recertify the car.
Kennedy said the wide-gauge vehicle will be narrowed into a standard gauge and converted from DC drive to AC drive. Work is also planned on the gear boxes, motors, wheels and braking system.
Kuznetsov said it’s difficult to estimate the trolley car’s worth, or how much it will be worth after it is restored. However, he said he purchased it from the Port Authority for $1,000, and that new reproduction cars, manufactured by a company in Iowa, usually cost $500,000.
“I’m proud of it,” he said. “At one time, every city in the U.S. had electric trolley cars. I’m an ecologist, and I believe the best way to transport people is through electrical transportation.”
(Email: jshelenberger@ncnewsonline.com)
(News reporter David Burcham contributed to this story.)
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