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The Dayton Street Railway Company

This was the streetcar company that suffered heavily from the big carbarn fire in August of 1932, and thus became the ETB pioneer in Dayton, as well as Ohio, with their first ETBs put in service on the 23rd of April 1933. DSR had one cross-town line only, running from their East-side loop at Linden and Santa Cruz, through the CBD, and out to the northwest terminus at Salem Avenue and Catalpa. The DSR purchased their 600-volt Direct Current "ready-made" from the Dayton Power & Light Company, and thus had no substations with rotary convertors of their own. DSR operated only Brill T-40 coaches, having a total of 19 in their fleet.

For almost three years, until Oakwood Street Railway Co. followed suit, DSR had the only ETBs in town, and quickly became the star attraction during an otherwise moribund atmosphere caused by the severe economic depression then in full sway. The fast, quiet, and fumeless ETBs made such an impression upon Dayton's citizenry that a loud hue and cry was mounted to demand the other streetcar companies also replace their rail cars with the new ETB. (They did, as we will chronicle here, one by one.)

The DSR struggled on through the remainder of the depression years, but eventually sold their entire system, minus the carbarn, to the the largest Dayton streetcar company, the City Railway Company, on April 28, 1941. After the takeover, City Railway extended the line from the Santa Cruz loop up to the top of the hill at Smithville and Linden, and then south to a new loop at Smithville and Corinth. The Brills, which had always been orange and cream, were soon painted standard City Railway two-tone yellow. No known color photograph has ever surfaced of the Brills while they were still in DSR colors. The ex-DSR Brills lasted in City Railway's fleet until about 1948, when all were scrapped.

Although the DSR operated ETBs for only eight years, they are still fondly remembered as the machine that started the ETB revolution in Dayton, and thus, a continuing Local Legacy.

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