Culture / Media / Transportation

New ones are coming, but the internet loves Philly’s abandoned trolleys more

An exploration of the minor online fascination with rusted-out SEPTA trolley cars.

Retired trolleys parked in the Juniata section of Philadelphia. (Photo by Imgur user dovate)

Here, have a look at what’s in store for the nation’s largest trolley car network: Philadelphia is getting a sleek and modern upgrade, Philly Mag reports.

trolley car

The type of trolley reportedly coming to Philadelphia. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

That’s great and all, but multiple corners of the internet are really into a different variety of SEPTA trolley cars: old, abandoned, dead SEPTA trolley cars.
Here, for instance, are photos of some scrapped trolleys parked in the Juniata section of Philadelphia.
SEPTA Juniata

(Photo by Imgur user dovate)

That’s where this little internet adventure all starts.
From there, we head to this story about, reportedly, a trolley car graveyard in North Carolina. That’s a very big “reportedly,” however, since the outfit doing the original reporting, the Daily Mail, is most likely wrong.
The urban explorer who photographed the dead trolleys seems to have successfully duped the Daily Mail (which doesn’t seem hard). The actual trolley graveyard is in Western PA.
This is the same place. Here’s the Google Map and the Bing bird’s eye view. It’s in tiny Windber, Pa., tucked away in the woods. Some internet commenters say the owner of the impressive collection of shabby rail cars doesn’t want the attention.
SEPTA woods

(Photo by Flickr user ^steiney^)

It’s all rather mysterious.
Still, it doesn’t explain this oddity in Brookville, Pa.: a few SEPTA trolley cars marooned in the hinterlands. But, alas, since that photo was taken, the cars have gone elsewhere.

Companies: SEPTA

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