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Jack W. Boorse


Jack Boorse was a nationally-respected civil engineer whose life's passion was rail transit.  He was Chief Traffic Engineer for the City of Philadelphia and helped to design Light Rail Transit systems in 12 cities throughout the United States from the 1980s into the 2000s.  From early childhood, Jack loved nearly everything about streetcars, riding and photographing them with his father, Wilbur Boorse (1904-1991), an electrical inventor who served as the longest-standing employee in the history of Philadelphia's transit authority.  

Jack collected articles about trains and trolleys throughout his entire life, and is the author of Rapid Transit in Canada (1968) and Philadelphia in Motion (1976).  Jack passed away in 2012 while he was working on Maryland's Red Line and Purple Line projects.  Much of his private collection now resides in the archives of transit museums.

About this site


This site contains Jack Boorse's lifetime accumulation of files on rail transit, except for what is in the hands of museums and private collectors.  It is intended to be a resource for professionals, historians and enthusiasts. 

In 1973 Jack became the custodian of the collection of William H. Watts II, whose own research spanned many decades and international boundaries. The remnants of the Watts collection are here commingled among Jack's materials.

This site is distributed across several domains. It is admittedly an awkward arrangement, but it allows the site to be maintained without cost.  Links to the various content appear in the left column.  The page you are currently viewing is the central page of the site - please bookmark here and use this page to navigate between the various areas of the site.

We welcome your participation!


Please make comments on the pages where you find materials of interest.  Although Jack is no longer here to add to his collection, your comments will keep the discussion alive.

Note on Box.Com pages:  Comments are enabled when you "join" a particular page.  You will need a box.com account, but you can create one for FREE if you select "Personal Plans."

Rights / Restrictions 


The contents of this site are for free and open distribution.  Please make use of whatever you find here. As this venture has no funding or personnel to promote it, please help the website by sharing the URL of this page with anybody who might be interested:    https://sites.google.com/site/jackboorsearchive/

Please do not charge for any of the material you find here, and, when possible, please credit "Jack W. Boorse Collection" so that Jack's legacy may continue.  

Every effort has been made to restrict the use of copyrighted material, however if you find material here which should not reside in the public domain, please contact us and it will be removed from the site.

Likewise, if you find information that is mislabeled, please notify us and we will attempt to improve the naming of files to add specificity and increase accuracy.