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An excellent view of the only complete compromise roof in the world! Ringoes, 1974.

With the restoration well along, 2651 appears much as it did at the height of the wartime years. A masterful job has been done by a dedicated team, headed by a man who made a dream come true. Ringoes, summer of 1982.


2652 heads toward the shipyards with a swinging load of passengers on the Federal line, which, with the South Kearny line, came into being to transport shipyard workers between Exchange Place in Jersey City and the vast shipyard facilities between Newark and Jersey City. Cars on the lines were forbidden to take on or to discharge passengers along the lines, except at the two terminal points and at Journal Square in Jersey City. Independent bus operators fought like tigers to prevent the new lines from operating.

Once the war ended the lines disappeared quickly and the cars were hastily withdrawn from service and scrapped.

Epilogue: Years passed as Tony Hall searched for hardware for the completion of the 2651 restoration project and for a location where the car could be operated under its own power. The car body languished under a tarpaulin at Ringoes. Weather took a toll.

In the early '90s, Tony Hall sold the car to the North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society, an organization which he founded for the purpose of rehabilitating 2651 and other electric railway castoffs.

Nothing happened with 2651, and there came an offer from the Seashore Trolley Museum at Kennebunkport to buy the car and to restore it to operating condition, placing it on the National Registry of Historical Monuments and assuring it of a permanent place in transportation history. The car was sold ; preparations were made to ship it to Kennebunkport and the museum began a funding campaign to assure completion of the restoration work.

At this point, a bizarre series of events intruded as some outraged Jerseyites, arose to nullify the transfer and sale. Court actions were threatened. Ultimately the museum, discouraged by the prospect of lengthy and expensive legal disputes, gave up the fight and canceled the agreement.

As of today, July of 1997, the car sits in desolate splendor, alone at the Ringoes site, under attack by relentless weather, slowly deteriorating and, for all practical purposes, dead.

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Content: © 1997 Al Mankoff
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Brett Putnam