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073a 2651 Today

Eleven Years of His Life

Ask him why he did it, and he'll say he really doesn't know! But Tony Hall, 43, of Rahway, New Jersey has spent every spare moment of the last eleven years working to restore a 66 year old relic---the last remaining compromise roof trolley car in the world! Taken by his mother on a shopping trip as a child in New Jersey, Tony saw the Newark City Subway---and trolley cars---for the first time in his life. "For me", Tony says, "it was like discovering King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings!" Admitting to the mystery of his enchantment, Tony goes on to say, "Even as an amateur psychologist, I shall never understand the reasons for the fascination it held---and still holds!"

Tony found the hulk of 2651 resting in a field in Long Valley, N.J., where it was being used as a storage shed. It had been bought from Public Service by a couple who used it as a temporary dwelling place while their house was under construction. The relic was one of the last survivors of a fleet of more than 2,000 trolleys that once served New Jersey on routes franchised to Public Service Coordinated Transport Co., a forerunner of the present New Jersey Transit.

Hall was enchanted with the decaying hulk; he negotiated with the owners, bought the car where it lay, and had it hauled from Long Valley in 1974, after completing initial restoration to the roof and clearing away a 30 year accumulation of junk.

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Content: © 1997 Al Mankoff
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Brett Putnam