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The Collection

Streetcar #116
A partially restored Birney Safety Car
Built by the American Car Company, St Louis, MO

This car was manufactured in 1928 for the City of Phoenix at a cost of $13,700. This and other cars entered service on December 25, 1928 as a part of the city's renovation of the Street Railway system.

These cars traveled 15,673,140 miles on the streets of Phoenix. Number 116 (renumbered 508 in later years) was one of the last three to operate.

The design was small and light and was intended to be an economical means of providing frequent service at a lower infrastructure and labor cost than conventional streetcars. One safety feature was interlocking door which prevented the car from starting if the door was open or a passenger was stuck.

Quick Facts
This streetcar #116 had 10 windows on each side, a steel body and wood frame and roof.
It is 39 feet, 11 inches long with double-ended operation without loop tracks at either end of the line. The seats were reversible, so passengers could always ride facing forward.
They were wired for 600 volt DC current with Westinghouse air brakes. Our current Valley Metro light rail system runs on 750 volts.
The Museum aquired this car in 1975, and restoration began with the assistance of the Arizona Historical Society and the generous help of El Zaribah Shrine Temple Guard. Additional restoration has proceeded with the support from our members and many Friends of the Museum. We hope you will consider joining us in bring this part of Phoenix History to life.

Calcine Electric Locomotive
Donated by Phelps Dodge in the mid 80s
This locomotive moved ore from roaster ovens to the main smelter operation in Douglas Arizona.
Phelps Dodge Gold & Copper mining company gave the museum this 300 volt locomotive, along with a number of spare parts that could be used for restoring trolleys (including part that created the overhead wire that powered the Museum trolley). The locomotive came from the Douglas Arizona Reduction Works that was in high production during WWII and again in the early 80s. The plant then closed in 1987 as production fell off. It was used to move the #116 when its motor became dysfunctional. A major restoration goal is to get the #116 fully operational and will be the "living history" part of the new museum. 

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Weight: 20 tons.

The engine operated on standard width 90 lbs. Rail Power: 250 volt d/c / two Westinghouse 908 motors, 60 Hp., each motor.


The engine was used to haul slag prior to 1930 at the Copper Queen smelter & Douglas reduction works from 1930-1987. The engine was a functional part of the smelter calcine operation until January 15, 1987 when the reduction works was closed. Calcine is a process where the ore is heated to just below melting to remove moisture and for sulfur control. The engine would generally haul two to four Calcine cars containing material of (crushed) ore, silica and concentrate. Each calcine car weighed an average of 20 tons. The material was moved from the roaster building to the reverbratory furnaces at a temperature of 1150-1160 degrees f. Two calcine motormen were employed to operate the Equipment.

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