Charles R. Lloyd, 70, lifelong trolley fan, helped found city's Streetcar Museum

July 17, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

On Nov. 3, 1963, streetcar service ceased in Baltimore after 100 years of operation, and as Charles R. Lloyd rode one of the last cars into the Irvington carbarn that day, the old motorman's heart sank.

The former Baltimore Transit Co. worker would wait nearly three decades for streetcars to return to the city with the opening of light rail in 1992. Until then, he satisfied his yearning for the thrill of urban rail traffic by helping to found the Baltimore Streetcar Museum in 1966.

Known as "Dick," the former Charles Village resident died of heart failure Monday at Oak Crest Village retirement community in Parkville, where he had moved several weeks ago. He was 70.

Mr. Lloyd's lifelong love of streetcars began early, and by the age of 12, he had ridden every type of car used on the system. His employment with the BTC was a mere two years, from 1946 to 1948. After he had seen one streetcar route after another converted into a bus line, he quit.

He knew how to operate every type of car used in his brief BTC career, and one of his favorites was the famed Red Rocket that ran on the No. 26 line to Dundalk. Decades later, Mr. Lloyd proudly wore Baltimore Streetcar Museum badge No. 28, indicating early membership in the Falls Road museum.

At the time of his death, he was the museum's vice president of operations, dispatcher and training instructor. He had held the three positions for more than 26 years.

"He was certainly part of the fabric of the museum, and he'll be greatly missed," said museum President John J. O'Neill, who visited Mr. Lloyd the evening before his death. "Due to his vast experience and stories, [he] could explain the intricacies of trolley operation to our new people. He really was a wonderful man."

Mr. Lloyd had a reputation for being a strong disciplinarian and a stickler for the rules governing the operation of the museum's historic trolley collection. The streetcars operate year-round on weekends on the museum's 1 1/2 -mile right of way along Falls Road.

"I studied under him," recalled Andrew S. Blumberg, longtime museum member and director of public affairs. "He took the business of running the cars seriously and always stressed safety first. It was a 13-week course, and it was tough."

This no-nonsense approach made him a highly desirable consultant to other streetcar museums around the country and is credited for 25 accident-free years of operation at the Baltimore museum.

"He actually used [Baltimore Transit Co.] rules, which made our operations authentic right on down to the uniforms," said Mr. Blumberg, who laughingly recalled Mr. Lloyd's admonition to new motormen: "Don't get lost out there on the tracks."

Mr. Lloyd was never happier than when he was at the controller of his two favorite streetcars, the 6119, a 1930 Peter Witt model, and the 1164, an open summer car that once carried revelers to a long-vanished Baltimore amusement park called Riverview.

Born and raised in Roland Park, Mr. Lloyd was the son of W. S. Lloyd, who owned and established Lloyd's Hobby Shop at Charles and 22nd streets. He studied at McDonogh School and Polytechnic Institute and worked in the mailroom of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad before entering the Navy in 1943. He earned his high school diploma while in the Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater before being discharged with the rank of chief warrant officer.

He took over the family hobby shop after his father's death, later selling the business to start Lloyd Publishing Co., a printing and direct-mail firm he ran in Charles Village until last year.

Fond of traveling, Mr. Lloyd visited streetcar lines throughout Europe and was a 50-year member of the National Railroad Historical Society. He also was a member of Railroad Passenger Cars.

Services for Mr. Lloyd will be held at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Schimunek funeral home, 3331 Brehms Lane, Baltimore.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, the former Marie Smith; and a daughter, Linda Lloyd of Harrisburg, Pa.

Pub Date: 7/17/96

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