Berkshire Street Railway Berkshire Hills

Built in:1903 by Wason Manufacturing Company
Out-of-service/Retired:1932 (1922)
Type of car:interurban (parlor/observation)
Current Owner:Seashore Trolley Museum(Kennebunkport, Maine)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Berkshire Street Railway Berkshire Hills
Very few electric parlor cars were ever built and, as they had mostly been retired by the Depression, fewer still survive. The "Berkshire Hills" is one of the few that does. BSR was a sizeable conglomerate of smaller lines that had been organized between 1901 and 1903; at its peak, after it had been acquired by the New Haven in 1904, it operated 170 miles of street railways in four states. The company ordered the "Berkshire Hills" for use on charter outings and on extra-fare scheduled trips. The car, described by historian William Middleton in his book "Traction Classics, Vol. II" as "the largest and most elegant of all trolley parlor cars in New England," was painted white, had large windows for sightseeing, and was fitted with wicker furniture and drapes. Use of the car in regular service ended in 1917 but it continued in charter service until it was stored in 1922; in 1932 the car was sold and the body made into a diner in West Pittsfield. There it remained until a fire in 1994 damaged the car's structure, after which the diner's owner donated the carbody to STM. It was moved to Kennebunkport in 1995 and has been in storage since then.

Ownership History:Berkshire Street Railway #Berkshire Hills 1903-1932 / Seashore Trolley Museum(Kennebunkport, Maine) 1995-present

Facts and Figures

Status:stored inoperableGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:woodRoof type:RREnded:DE
#Seats:28#Wheels/Conf.:8 (B-B)Total HP:220
Trucks:[Brill 27A2]Brakes:ChristensonCompressor
Motors:[WH 56 (4)]Voltage (if not 600DC)


Parlor car; body only, on trucks