Bucks County Trolleys

Bucks County Trolleys

Mike Szilagyi


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Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was once served by 120 miles of trolley lines. During the decades spanning the 1890s to 1950s, a variety of trolley cars glided through Bucks County's towns and countryside, beginning with Langhorne's quaint open streetcars and culminating with streamlined interurbans streaking across open fields from Sellersville to Quakertown at 80 miles per hour. The trolleys were powered by electricity, with the line stretching north from Doylestown energized by renewable hydroelectric power generated by the Delaware Canal. Before automobiles and trucks were commonplace, and before roads were paved, the rapid, convenient electric trolley was the best mode of travel for both passengers and freight shipments. Although the trolleys have almost completely disappeared today, the photographs on these pages provide rare glimpses of a long-lost mode of travel and charming scenes of Bucks County's soon-to-be-altered landscapes.


Mike Szilagyi:
Mike Szilagyi's career as a bicycle-trail planner and designer includes researching former railroad rights-of-way in and around southeastern Pennsylvania. In many cases, abandoned railroad and trolley track beds may be repurposed as rails-to-trails and so returned to roles as avenues of clean, congestion-free transportation. A lifelong cyclist and coauthor of Montgomery County Trolleys, Szilagyi lives in North Wales, Pennsylvania, where he serves on the board of the North Wales Historic Commission.