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Ridgehurst Road, West Orange, passenger stop beckons as 2680 slows and doors swing open. Tragic accident at this spot helped to hasten end of Orange line trolley service in 1951.

Two children could not stop their sleds from entering Main Street and rolled under the wheels of passing Orange line car 8018. Young boy survived the ordeal, but his older companion, a girl, was badly mangled and died on the spot.

Accident was clearly not due to negligence of the motorman or mechanical failure of the car, but the event was used by politicians to infer that trolleys were obsolete, unsafe and dangerous, with telling effect.

 

 

2680 takes to the road, inbound on the Central line, while 3207 prepares to enter the switchback. (DE, 4-307, 56XL). The Central line opened on October 25, 1890 from Broad Street, Newark to 18th Street, with six cars on the first trip, beginning at 7:00 am.

The line was extended from the Newark/East Orange city line at 18th Street to the east Orange/Orange line at Harrison Street in 1904 and thence to Scotland Road in August of 1916.

After uproarious fight, the last extension of the line to South Jefferson Street, above, came in 1925. Company wanted the line to connect with the Montrose line, a few blocks north, but the last extension was never approved. The Central line was converted to bus operation in December, 1947.

 

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A rare photo in the Roseville shop as repairs begin to 2680 after a platform collision took out car's front end.

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Content: © 1997 Al Mankoff
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Brett Putnam