York Town Square

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Transportation of workers fueled York County’s trolley system

Trolleys came and went from York, Pa.’s, Continental Square from the mid-1880s to 1939.

Several reminders of York County’s once-far-flung electric trolley network remain.

Former red-brick car shops are hidden on the Avenues in York. Trolley Road runs through West Manchester Township. A former trolley bridge can be seen along Susquehanna Trail in Violet Hill, York Township. And Brookside Park, one of several trolley parks, remains in use near Dover… .

The trolley parks, by the way, were developed to stimulate traffic on weekends and other off-peak times. Highland Park in West Manchester Township, Cold Springs Park near Manchester and Springwood Park in York Township are among the now-defunct trolley or railroad parks.
The need to transport workers to and from York County’s growing factories in the 1880s started the trolley system, as the following excerpt from “Never to be Forgotten” suggests:

York businessmen organize the York Street Railway Company to create a horse-drawn trolley system in 1886. A year later, two lines open with eight closed and six open cars and a stable of 15 horses and eight mules. In an 1893 test run, an electric trolley car ran from York’s Centre Square to Highland Park in West York. York residents later could ride along electrified lines from Bittersville to Dover, Wrightsville to Spring Grove and York Haven to Hanover. The trolley system required huge amounts of electricity, fueling expansion of electric companies.