Article From the Summer 2003 Issue of
The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation
CAR 437 IS PLACED ON ITS NEW TRUCKS
by Charlie Lowe
On June 24, 2003, Rochester city streetcar 437 took its first trip in the nearly six years it has been at NYMT—sideways! Thanks to the generous donations received earlier this year, NYMT engaged Matthews Building Movers to perform the difficult sideways sliding maneuver needed for 437 to reach its trucks. Before this could occur, though, much preparation was needed.
As the car was lowered, it became apparent that a conflict between the truck side frames and the side supports for the platforms would occur when the trucks swiveled on curves. The Brill 77E Special trucks now under 437 have a slightly longer wheelbase than trucks previously under the car, so this conflict was not unexpected. Fortunately, shimming the car body about 2-1/2" higher would correct the problem. Shims were designed and made by Steel Works, Inc. (the same company that had made157's side bearings last year). During July and August, the car body was raised and the shims inserted, one truck at a time. The shimming was designed to return the car to its original height above track level. On August 15, the car was lowered onto the second shimmed truck, and all conflict points were eliminated.
The financial situation of the car 437 fund is not too bad but it is in the negative. Since Matthews required only one day to do their work, the final cost of the sideways move was only $2400, much less than the $4000 that was estimated. The cost of the parts required for the shimming was donated by myself, and the work of lifting the car, rolling the trucks out, installing the shims and lowering the car body is being performed with volunteer labor. When the fund drive tapered off this spring, about $1800 was in the 437 fund, but with the recent expenditures, the fund is about $600 in arrears. A show of support for 437 by the NYMT membership, though, could erase this deficit. The offer of gifts of appreciation for donors still is in effect. Donors of $25 or more will receive an illustrated history of car 437. Donors of $50 or more will receive, in addition to the car history, a 5" x 7" photograph showing 437 in service in Rochester. Major donors of $200 or more will also receive an invitation to ride 437 next year when it is brought into NYMT's car house for display and restoration.
2004 will be car 437's 100th anniversary, and the car is now completely ready to be moved inside the car house and to emerge from under its heavy green tarp. Let's all make a big effort to get the car's fund as strong as possible for that occasion.