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Montgomery County Trolleys

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Montgomery County Trolleys book
On June 4, 2018 Arcadia Publishing released its newest title:
Montgomery County Trolleys
214 vivid historical photos, plus maps and drawings

Welcome to the companion web site for Montgomery County Trolleys.

On this site you will find:

an updated list of upcoming appearances

sample pages

a link to an interactive Google Map showing locations of historical photos

an alphabetical index of photo locations

an alphabetical index of photographers

a list of contributors

a bibliography

and contact information.


From the cover:

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was once served by 140 miles of trolley lines. In the first half of the 20th century, a wide array of trolley cars rolled over Montgomery County’s rails, from quaint open streetcars rumbling through borough streets to sleek 80-mile-an-hour trolleys sailing across open fields in Upper Gwynedd and Hatfield Townships. The cars had zero emissions, and some lines were powered by renewable hydroelectric power. Taking the trolley was a convenient, affordable option for those travelling and commuting in Montgomery County, nearby Philadelphia, and points beyond. Freight was also carried on board trolleys, with prompt parcel delivery service. Fortunately, many years ago, dedicated trolley fans had the foresight to aim their cameras at these unique vehicles, providing rare glimpses not just of the trolleys but also of Montgomery County’s rapidly changing landscapes.

Mike Szilagyi's interest in trolleys was sparked at a young age by the sight of big green streamliners gliding down Old York Road near his grandmother's house in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia. Today, Szilagyi lives and works in Montgomery County, where he plans and designs bicycle paths and serves on the North Wales Historic Commission.

This volume's foreword was written by noted transit historian and longtime Montgomery County resident Andrew W. Maginnis.

In addition to detailed captions for each photograph, the book offers a brief history of transportation in Montgomery County, placing the trolley era in its historical context. The timeline of travel may be very generally summed up as:

dirt roads - canals - railroads - trolleys - motor vehicles

Rather than each mode supplanting the previous, there were varying degrees of overlap between them. That said, the use of animals for motive power was there from the beginning, only fading as motor vehicles gained prominence in the 1910s and 1920s. The bicycle came on the scene in a big way in the 1890s, never really completely disappeared, and is today enjoying widespread resurgence.


You are invited to attend illustrated presentations highlighting photos and stories from the book. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase. Dates and times are as follows:

Early 2019 - date to be announced
Upper Moreland Historical Association
Upper Moreland Township Building
117 Park Avenue, Willow Grove, PA 19090

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
Historical Society of Montgomery County
1654 DeKalb Street, Norristown, PA 19401

Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Main Point Books
116 N. Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
North Wales Historic Commission
North Wales Borough Hall
300 School Street, North Wales, PA 19454

Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
National Railway Historical Society, Philadelphia Chapter
Elkins Park train station
7876 Spring Avenue, Elkins Park, PA 19027

Saturday, July 21, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Barnes and Noble
Willow Grove Shopping Center
102 Park Avenue, #1, Willow Grove, PA 19090

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Old York Road Genealogical Society
Abington Township Public Library
1030 Old York Rd, Abington, PA 19001

Friday, October 19, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.
National Railway Historical Society, Delaware Valley Chapter
Morrisville Free Library
300 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Morrisville, PA 19067

Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Doylestown Historical Society
56 S. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Seating is limited for this event, you MUST RSVP to 215-345-9430

Monday, November 12, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Farmer's Union Hall
PA 363 above village of Center Point (Worcester) Penna.
(uphill from the Exxon at the corner of PA 73 & PA 363)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Old York Road Historical Society
Episcopal Church of Our Saviour
The Parish House, Homestead Hall
821 Homestead Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046
(east side of Old York Road, one block south of the Jenkintown Library, and one block north of West Avenue)


Montgomery County Trolleys book
Scenes from the book



Click here to visit Mike Szilagyi's Philadelphia Trolley Tracks web site