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Here, 2666 is kicking off an experimental newspaper delivery service originated by the Newark News to save tires and gas for the war effort. This was a short-lived experiment aimed at shortening the routes of the standard delivery trucks. 2666 is wearing a banner in this view taken at Main Street and Harrison Avenue in West Orange.

Public Service built a special chute at Penn Station in Newark to convey bundled newspapers from a surface truck to the trolley waiting on the tracks in the subway below.

The trolleys in this service initially carried the bundles of newspapers on the rear platform, where a representative of the paper was stationed to drop them at candy and cigar stores along the route.

Shortly after the delivery service began, the bundles were shifted to the front platform for easier communication between the motorman and the newspaper's representative, speeding the schedule considerably. 2666 served only one day before returning to passenger runs and the bulk of the delivery service was then carried by maroon 2700 series cars drawn from the Blooomfield line.

The chute remained in place at Penn Station for more than 40 years, its purpose long forgotten. New Jersey Transit officials, who finally authorized the removal of the chute in the 1980's, were astonished to learn its purpose when advised by the author.

Only extant interior photo of 2666 shows the striking PCC-type dome lighting installed in 2666 and 2614, a far cry from the bare-bulb center-roof illumination in sister cars. (Note: The term "PCC" refers to the "Presidents' Committee Car", a modern version of the trolley car developed over several years under the guidance of a committee of transit company president. The first cars of this new model , manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company, appeared on the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1936. The cars were a startling change from what the trolley car had been, and over the next 20 years hundreds were ordered and operated throughout the United States. Newark ultimately purchased a small fleet of this type from the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Company for operation in the City Subway. When these trolleys began service, in January, 1954, the last of the older 2600, 2700 and 3200 series trolleys were removed from service and scrapped. At one time, a subway connection from the old Public Service Terminal on Park Place to Penn Station was used as a storage track for PCCs. The tunnel was sealed off in time and, amazingly, three PCC cars were sealed off there and forgotten! When the old terminal was being torn down in preparation for building the new Public Service headquarters building, construction crews demolishing the building crashed through the roof of the sealed-off subway, revealing the lost trolleys, still in place. The cars were damaged from the wrecking balls and the falling concrete and were scrapped for parts. thus ending an incredible urban legendary tale.)

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Content: © 1997 Al Mankoff
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Brett Putnam