Just outside a forgotten mining town in a remote forest in rural Pennsylvania, a fleet of vintage streetcars lie decaying in the undergrowth. Abandoned on a dead-end stretch of rusty railroad, these forlorn urban relics evoke nostalgia for another time and place. But how did they end up here? Who brought them? And why?
The town’s name is Windber. It was founded in Somerset County in the late 19th century by two brothers – the coal magnates Charles and Edward Julius Berwind. At its peak in the ’40s, Windber was home to around 9,000 inhabitants, and they worked in a number of industrial operations, including lumbering and brick manufacturing.
However, from the 1950s onwards, the coal mines began to close and the town’s population started to dwindle; indeed, by 2015 it was less than 4,000. Today, Windber is no longer a hub of industry, and the old railroad tracks that once connected it to the outside world have fallen into disuse and dilapidation.