ROCHESTER STREETCARS :  No. 30 in a series
by Charles R. Lowe
As the Rochester and Eastern completed its line to Geneva in
1904, a second group of cars was ordered from Stephenson and numbered 30-35. In some ways, the new cars were similar to the line's eight cars of 1903. All were of wood construction, had railroad-style roofs and rode on Barney and Smith Class F trucks. There the similarities ended. The most obvious difference between the two batches of cars were side windows, the new cars having squared windows while the earlier cars had arched windows. At 46'-7" length-over-all, the new cars were about four feet shorter than the 1903 cars and therefore seated only 48 passengers instead of the 52 that the 1903 cars could handle.
As part of the museumís celebration of the 100th anniversary
of the beginning of operations on the Rochester and Eastern,
we again offer a look at some rolling stock of this line.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the two groups of cars was the style of motor control. The 1903 cars were intended for use only as single cars, and could not be operated in multiple-car trains. The 1904 cars were equipped with General Electric's Type M multiple-unit control and could be operated in trains of up to three cars in length. The motorman on the lead car controlled the motors and air brakes of all cars, not just his own. The 1904 cars were intended for use as multiple-unit excursion trains, and the system proved so worthwhile that the 1903 cars were finally re-equipped with Type M control in 1914. About 1906, as most electric railway properties in Rochester were being consolidated under New York Central ownership, the R&E's 30-35 cars were renumbered to 150-155 and the older 1903 cars curiously were renumbered to the higher 156-163 series. Our present photo, which features 152 displaying its green-and-cream paint in use from 1918 to 1925, was captioned "152 in Pittsford Y" and this indeed appears to be the case. The car has been run forward on to the wye's tail track and is facing northeast; it probably will be backed onto the R&E main for a run back into Rochester. Soon, all R&E cars including 152 will be repainted into a brilliant yellow and cream paint scheme, but this treatment will not prevent the 1930 cessation of service on the R&E. Car 152 appears to have been scrapped soon after the official abandonment of the R&E in 1932.