Bluefield & Princeton Trollies

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Wed Nov 24 13:36:44 EST 2004

Thanks for the photo of the token.  I have one, and have been wondering
where it came from.  I live in NJ close to Princeton so naturally the first
thought is that it relates to the local area, but folks here have told me
that they know of no trolley system that existed here named Princeton.  You
have answered the question!

I find the mention of the Mercer County court house interesting.  That is
the name of our county in NJ, named for General Mercer, an American general
in the revolution who died from wounds received in the battle of Princeton.

Ed Sproles

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <nw-mailing-list at>
To: "N&amp;W Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 11:40 PM
Subject: Re: Bluefield & Princeton Trollies

> Bob,
> Since the trolley system that you asked about connected the N&W station in
> Bluefield with the Virginian station in Princeton, it should be
> to discuss it here.  Most of this information came from Bluefield and
> Princeton newspapers.
> The Princeton Power Co. was formed in 1908 by Samuel J. Evans to provide
> electric power, coal, ice, and street railway service in Princeton, then
> with a population of 1,500.  The trolley service began operation between
> Mercer County courthouse and the Virginian Railway passenger station , a
> little over a mile away, in 1909, the year the Virginian Railway was
> completed.  There was a passing siding midway along the trolley line, and
> two cars provided a seven-minute headway.  Attachement No. 1 shows a rare
> Princeton Power Co. token.
> About the same time, the Appalachian Power Company's Bluefield Street
> Railway operated the Bluefield trolley service, which consisted
> of one long "J-shaped" line of some 10.5 miles starting at the Fairgrounds
> near the present- day municipal stadium, continuing east mainly on College
> Avenue, then north mainly on Bland Street, then west a long ways on
> Bluefield Avenue to West Graham, VA (Graham is now Bluefield, VA), passing
> the N&W's station there on the way.
> On July 1, 1916, the Princeton Power Company began operation of an
> interurban trolley line of some 13 miles that linked the Mercer County
> courthouse (and connected there with the affiliated Princeton trolley
> and the N&W station in Bluefield (where it connected with the Bluefield
> Street Railway).  This was essentially a side-of-the-road trolley line
> except for two stretches of about a mile each where the trolley line took
> its own course away from the road.  Only nineteen families lived along the
> line when it first opened!
> In 1920 the Princeton Power Company purchased the Bluefield Street
> Railway from the Appalachian Power Company, and sold its Princeton power
> plant to the Appalachian to help pay for the Bluefield trolley system.  In
> 1928 the name of the whole trolley operation was changed to the Tri City
> Traction Company.
> The Bluefield city trolleys were replaced with buses in 1937 and the
> Princeton city trolleys were likewise replaced on September 17, 1940, but
> the interurban continued on until replaced with buses on April 7, 1947.
> Three interurban cars were needed to maintain a 30 minute
> headway until then, but today some portions of that route have no public
> transit service at all.
> I grew up along the interurban line at a time when our family did not own
> automobile (imagine that today), so anytime that I went to either
> (including to school) or to Bluefield, I rode the Tri City Traction
> Company's Cincinnati Curved Side Lightweight interurban cars.
> Attachment No. 2 shows TCTC No. 120 on the last revenue trip into
> The man posing by the door is 84 -year-old Samuel J. Evans, TCTC
> After everyone had left, motorman Aubrey Dangerfield gave me a ride home
> he took the car to the barns at Glenwood Park for the last time.  So, I
> say with certainty that I was the last member of the public to ride a TCTC

> trolley!
> Gordon Hamilton
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <nw-mailing-list at>
> To: <nw-mailing-list at>
> Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2004 11:12 PM
> Subject: Bluefield & Princeton Trollies
> > Were there two separate trolly companies for Bluefield and Princeton
> > the line connected both cities?
> >
> > Bob Riffe
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > NW-Mailing-List at
> >


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