ROCHESTER STREETCARS        No. 31 in a series
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by Charles R. Lowe

For one last moment, on February 11, 1937, car 757 was bathed in sunlight and photographs were made by admiring fans. Seen here at Blossom Road Yard, 757 hardly seems in so bad a condition it needs to be scrapped, but the empty trolley base on the roof makes it clear that the end is near. The "Watch Your Step" admonishment at the rear step will never again help passengers aboard; likewise, the "Exit" warning at the front step will never guide boarding passengers to the proper door at the rear of the car. Although successfully operated as a steam road between Portland Avenue and Sea Breeze from its opening in 1879 until 1899, the Rochester and Lake Ontario
New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 757                  Author's Collection

suffered a disastrous accident in the latter year. A new company, the Rochester and Suburban, took over the line and electrified the operation. In 1899, J. G. Brill of Philadelphia built ten 15-bench open cars numbered 24-33 and two similar (but slightly different) 15-bench open trailers numbered 34 and 35. These cars were the original electric equipment on the Sea Breeze trolley line. In 1911, with open cars having lost favor among railway officials, these twelve cars were rebuilt into single-end pay-as-you-enter cars. The ten motor cars became 750-759, and the two trailers were motorized and became 760-761. Later, between 1917 and 1920, 750-761 were modernized along with a great many other Rochester streetcars. About 1928, white safety stripes were added to most if not all the 750-761 cars. If we are to believe the "Hudson-Allen" route sign visible on car 757, the 750-761 group remained active until August, 1936 when eleven Rochester streetcar lines were abandoned, permitting the withdrawal of many cars. The efforts of the railfan(s) that sunny February day in 1937 were fortunate in that some of the best photos ever made of 750-series cars were made that day. Perhaps Rochester railfan John Woodbury, in whose collection (now owned by Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society) a negative of 752 resides, was tipped off by friendly streetcar men. Just two days later, on February 13th, the remaining 750-series cars, 752, 757 and 760 (at least) were scrapped by the burning of their wooden carbodies.