Kansas City Public Service 1545

Built in:1919 by American Car Company (ord#1226)
Out-of-service/Retired:1950 (1949)
Type of car:streetcar (Birney safety car)
Current Owner:Fort Smith Trolley Museum(Fort Smith, Arkansas)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Kansas City Public Service 1545
One of two surviving Birneys from KCPS, 1545 was the last single-truck Birney to operate in Kansas City on May 1, 1949. Stored for a time, in 1950 the car was bought by Jay Maeder and moved to his hometown of Milwaukee. Jay Maeder was the president of Speedrail, successor to the Milwaukee Electric interurban system, and on September 2, 1950 he was the motorman on an NMRA charter when he ran a signal and collided head-on with another train. Maeder survived, but ten passengers were killed in the wreck and Speedrail went out of business shortly thereafter. The devastated Maeder donated 1545 to the Ohio Railway Museum in December 1952 and it was moved to Worthington, Ohio in June of 1953. ORM was one of the earliest operating trolley museums and 1545 was soon repainted and operational; for a time, before ORM built its bridge over Route 161, 1545 ran on an isolated stretch of track south of Route 161. After ORM began its long decline in the mid-1970's, 1545 was heavily vandalized and damaged by arsonists. In December 1982 the car was sold to the FSTM, which stripped it of its truck, motors and control equipment to restore Fort Smith Birney 224. The body has been retained intact and is in storage.

Ownership History:Kansas City Railways #1545 1919-1926 / Kansas City Public Service #1545 1926-1950 / 1st preserved by Private owner 1950-1953 / later preserved by Ohio Railway Museum 1953-1982 / Fort Smith Trolley Museum(Fort Smith, Arkansas) 1982-present

Facts and Figures

Status:stored inoperableGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:steelRoof type:AREnded:DE
#Seats#Wheels/Conf.:4 (B)Total HP
Trucks:[Brill 79E1]BrakesCompressor
Motors:[WH 508A (2)]Voltage (if not 600DC)


Body only, on truck