Tires and Wires – The Story of electric trolley coaches serving sixteen Canadian cities


Tires and Wires is a comprehensive history of electric trolley coach operations in sixteen Canadian cities. Starting with some early dabbling in the embryonic technology of a rubber-tired electric bus, transit operators of the 1930s and 1940s turned to these quiet, powerful and efficient vehicles to replace their worn-out streetcar systems.


Tires and Wires is published jointly by Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation and Railfare*DC Books, which has produced many high quality historical Canadian railway and transit system publications. The author, Tom Schwarzkopf, is co-author of Edmonton’s Electric Transit and Calgary’s Electric Transit, as well as other rail and transit publications.


  • 272 pages, more than 200 superb photos and illustrations (54 in colour), and 22 maps
  • A chapter for each city’s system, including overhead wire maps
  • Complete system trolley coach rosters, with vehicle illustrations and preserved equipment data
  • A description of all nine trolley coach manufacturers
  • Book size – 8” x 10.5”

Price: $59.95 plus $15.00 shipping and handling (Canadian orders payable in CAD, outside of Canada in USD).

You’ll save the applicable 5% GST – our co-publisher, Railfare*DC Books, will pay it for you.


Tires and Wires Updates:

Tires and Wires, a 272 page volume, was co-published by the Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation and Railfare*DC Books in February 2019.

In a work as large as this, drawing from hundreds of sources, new data often comes to light and, despite careful checking and editing, occasionally errors do occur.

The document available here provides a listing of corrections and updates that have been identified and verified since the publication date. This update Includes revised overhead wire maps for each of the Halifax and Edmonton systems, which are available here and here.

Much of the new information and changes were provided by the knowledgeable community of book purchasers, and we thank them for providing their comments.

Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation
Fondation canadienne du patrimoine de transport urbain