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Covington museum adds streetcar

COVINGTON — A museum in Covington is now showing a streetcar named Kentucky.

Workers used tow trucks, a forklift, jacks, crowbars and a lot of care on Thursday to put the historic trolley on its undercarriage and squeeze it into its exhibit space at the Behr inger-Crawford Museum.

When a forklift slowly pushed the trolley into place, part of the undercarriage brushed against a wall's trim as it rolled.

The former Green Line trolley was built in 1892 by the Brownell firm of St. Louis as an ordinary streetcar. In 1911, it was remodeled into a parlor car that hosted parties and private gatherings. Car 64 has "Kentucky" painted on its sides and was among the last to operate in Northern Kentucky.

Museum director Laurie Risch told The Kentucky Enquirer that the maroon, white, black, gold and green trolley is in its original operating condition.

"It's a magnificent piece of history, not only for Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, but for the rest of America," Risch said.

When the trolley was taken off the rails in 1950, it was towed to the museum. It was taken to Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky property in 1994 and restored.

"This is going to be such an attraction for the kids," museum board President Gary Johnston said. "This is an original turn-of-the-century trolley, in every detail," including the elaborate brown wicker chairs.

Inside, the car has mannequins of a conductor and four people who might have ridden the trolley from the 1890s through the 1940s.

The streetcar has been on exhibit since December without its carriage.