Portland Traction 4001 was built in 1926 by the Kuhlman Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio as part of an order of six cars, Interstate Public Service Company 261-266. At this time Kuhlman was a subsidiary of the J. G. Brill Co. of Philadelphia. Car 4001 was built for the Interstate Public Service Company as their 262 for use on its suburban lines in the Louisville, Jeffersonville and New Albany area. These cities are located in Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky along the Ohio River.
In 1929 a new municipal highway bridge opened across the Ohio River between Louisville and Jeffersonville. This afforded bus competition a shorter route than the Interstate Public Service suburban operation and it was discontinued. The Indianapolis interurban continued using this route. Indiana Public Service cars 261 to 266 had specially reinforced end bumpers for additional protection for use on routes where standard interurban cars were also used. These cars proved not to be well suited for mainline service and were little used after the 1929 abandonment of the suburban operation. Reorganization resulted in Interstate Public Service Company becoming part of the Indiana Railroad in March 1931.
The Terre Haute Traction and Light Company became part of the Indiana Railroad in July 1931 and the six Kuhlman cars were transferred to Terre Haute for use on city lines in 1936. The cars went to Anderson shop for minor changes, repainting and were renumbered to Indiana Railroad 200 to 205. Terre Haute was the largest city property operated by the Indiana Railroad. It was exclusively Birney car operated until the arrival of the Jeffersonville cars. The cars were transferred to Terre Haute from Jeffersonville in two three-car trains. They were used on the South Seventh Street line in Terre Haute.
In December of 1938 an agreement was signed with National City Lines for the purchase of the Terre Haute city lines. NCL was interested only in bus operation and all streetcar service was discontinued on June 3, 1939. The six Jeffersonville cars were sent back to Scottsburg Shop for storage.
The cars were sold to Portland Traction Company, which was part of Portland Electric Power Company (PEPCO), in 1940. The six cars were shipped to Portland, Oregon on flat cars. The traction orange paint of the Indiana Railroad gave way to Portland Traction’s Blue and Cream paint scheme and the cars were renumbered to 4000 to 4005. They went into service on the Oregon City and Gresham routes in 1940. That same year car 4000 was involved in a wreck with one of Portland Traction’s large wooden interurban cars and it was scrapped. The remaining five cars remained in service until the end of passenger operation in 1958. By then the cars had been repainted in to Portland Traction’s cream and maroon paint scheme.
Two of these cars survive today. The 4001 is at the Western Railway Museum, and the 4005 is at the Illinois Railway Museum. Car 4001 arrived at the Western Railway Museum in November 1960. It was the first car at the Museum.