No3 spanned the entire duration of trolley service in Hershey. Built by the J.G. Brill Company, and one of the first three cars ordered, No3 was one of two combination cars, carrying passengers and freight. No2 and No3 were sister cars, identical, double trucked, and equipped with the same motors and controllers as No1, an all passenger car. During the mid-1920’s, the car was converted to an all passenger car and little is known (no pictures identified) about the car in this configuration. In 1928, No3 was transformed into the “Construction Car”, carrying maintenance men and tools, servicing the other trolleys and miles of rail. After trolley service ended in 1946, No3 remained running until 1948 to perform the sad task of removing the overhead wires and pulling up the steel rails.
With No3’s work completed, the trolley was sold to Wolf’s salvage yard in Hummelstown (as were many of the other trolleys), where it was stripped of most its metal parts, including trucks, controls, air brakes and poles. The body deteriorated in the salvage yard until 1967, when it was bought by Mr. Joseph Alfonsi for $250 and transported to the Trolley Valhalla Museum at Jobstown/Tansboro, NJ.
The Trolley Valhalla Museum was established around 1957 as the original trolley museum in the Philadelphia area. Many of the cars from Valhalla were moved to Buckingham, PA and became the core of the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association (BVTA) collection that started up in 1975. In 1982, BVTA started operating a non-profit organization under the name Penn’s Landing Trolley. Penn’s Landing operated trolleys along the Delaware riverfront in Philadelphia. No3 moved from Trolley Valhalla to Pier 5 at Penn’s Landing on August 31, 1983.
In 1995, “Friends of the Hershey Trolley” (FOHT), under the auspices of the Derry Township Historical Society and the leadership of Brad and Lisa Ginder, started meeting with a group of local volunteers. Between 1995 and 2000, FOHT identified the location of six of the original 30 trolleys. In 1996, the Derry Township Historical Society tried to acquire No. 3 from the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association (BVTA), but at that time the BVTA felt that FOHT didn’t have enough experience with trolley restoration, and was unwilling to relinquish the car. In 1996 BVTA eventually lost its lease at Penn’s Landing. By November 1996, No3 was moved to the Germantown depot and in February 2000, FOHT was disbanded.
In October 1999, the Electric City Trolley Museum Association, Scranton, PA, opened. Electric City is an outgrowth from the now disbanded BVTA and East Penn Valley Traction, which conveyed to the museum most of the trolleys and artifacts in its historic collection. On June 30th, 2005, Electric City transferred ownership of Hershey No3 to Railways, Inc., operators of the Rockhill Trolley Museum. On April 22, 2006, Rockhill transferred ownership of Hershey No3 to the Hershey Derry Township Historical Society.
On June 7th, 2006, Hershey Transit No3 came home. Volunteers, society members and well-wishers watched on as No3 was picked up by crane and placed into the West Car Barn in Hershey.
Into the West Car Barn, Hershey (right to left, Brad Ginder & Pete Davis)
Hershey Transit by Benson W. Rohrbeck, 1980
Chocolate Town Trolleys – by Richard Steinmetz, 1967
Car 3, The13th of a Series, BVTA Newsletter, Sept. 1985
Brad & Lisa Ginder, notes, 1995 to 2000
Gone With the Five-Cent Hershey Bar” – by Stephen D. Maguire, Railroad Magazine, Aug. 1947
“News Bulletin, Buckingham Valley Trolley Association”, The Transfer Table, Wilmington Chapter NRHS Newsletter, Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1997