Trolley car was a popular means of travel starting in the late 1800s when they were introduced. Fairs were reasonably priced for the working families, and for the first time they could easily and quickly get to other parts of the city. This form of transportation became particularly popular when places like Carsonia Park were built. Families from all over town could now afford to spend a day enjoying amusements. Over time people used this transportation method for work and play. Though, as cars became more mainstream in the mid-20th century, these large, slower moving vehicles became more of an obstacle than a luxury. By the late 1940s they caused traffic jams and were generally disliked by motorists. Slowly buses took over the trolley routes, as they were faster and actually cheaper. The very last trolley made it’s journey on January 7th, 1952, over 65 years ago on the Shillington/Mohnton line. According to a Reading Eagle article,
“The event brought to a close the 78-year history of the Reading Street Railway Co., which began in 1874 with horse-drawn cars. The trolleys were electrified in 1890, when Reading’s population was about 60,000.”
Rumor has it that 10 minutes after the very last trolley returned, it’s replacement bus left on the same route. Then and there the era of the trolley car silently ended.
Source: Reading Eagle
[…] Reading’s Trolley service comes to and end in 1952 […]
I remember the trolley didn’t come to the curb on Lancaster Ave. It stopped in the center of the road and you walked out to it to get on.
I also remember the tracks coming through Northmont to Kutztown Rd and then Spring Valley Rd to Laureldale. I was trying to find out when the last trolley ran on that line.