BOSTON PCC CARS

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BOSTON PCC CARS
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 3:04 PM

I suggested the figure of 350 for the total number of PCC cars used in Boston.  I was pretty accurate, with 346 being the total, and 344 the maximum used at any one time.  Here is the roster:

3001      "Queen Mary, only St. Louis built, 1937, no left-hand door, and no Tomlinson couplers.   Scrapped about 1948.   With silver headlight wings   

 

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3002-3021   Pullman, like the rest.  1940, Not mu as build, converted to mu about 1962.   Used primarily on Tremont Avenue before mu conversion.   With silver headlight wings.  3010 scrapped after derailment and extensive body damage.

3022-3271   Ordered during WWII, delivered 1944-1946.  Without the wings, mu as delivered.   Exceptions were 3197-3221, which were the 25 all-electric standee window cars, 1946.  Converted to mu, but remaining all-electric, around 1962.  Before mu conversion, used almost intirely on City Point  - N. Station and City Point - Dudley.

3272-3321   1952.  Picture window cars, last cars from Pullman, departure from standard PCC electricals.   Used primarily on Beacon Street, then to Riverside.

3321-3346    Dallas cars

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Posted by Dragoman on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 3:28 PM
Dave - What made 3022-3271 "all electric"? Were some of the others not all electric?
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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 4:14 PM

Prewar PCCs were "Air-Electric" with air operated doors and low-speed brakes (high-speed brakes were dynamic).  The first "All-Electric" was Pittsburgh Rys 1600, delivered in 1945, but most if not all postwar PCCs had electric door motors and a different style of low speed brake that removed the need for an air compressor.

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Posted by Dragoman on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 4:32 PM
Thank you!
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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7:04 AM

3022-3271were air-electric except for 3297-3321, which were the only all-electrics.  All other Boston PCCs were air-electrics.  Doors can be electric on postwar air-electrics.  The difference is lack of air-brakes.  All-electrics do not have airbrakes, only the dynamic brakes and a spring actuated solonoid-released "electric" brake that provides the low-speed stopping energy when dynamics are not effective.  On air-electrics, the transition from dynamics to air is smoothly done at around 10-11 mph.  On all-electrics, the dynamic brakes function down to 4 mph.  The magnetic track brake (emergency braking) is effective at all speeds.

I believe that in addition to Boston, Kansas City and of course Dallas got air-electric postwar PCCs.

The picture windows had a different acceleration and braking system than the other PCCs.

When 3002-3021 were made mu, they were electrically identacle to 3022-3271 (except all-electric 3197-3221) and were often mu'd in the same two or three-car trains.   Also, after conversion to mu around 1962, I never saw all-electrics in three-car trains, only two-car.  That may have been do to service assignment (Huntington Avenue), rather than capabilities.

When the T received the Dallas cars,the anticlimbers (bumpers) on the ends were raised a few inches so the Tomlinsion couplers from scrapped 5s could meet with those on other cars.  These cars were never made mu.

The picture windnows never regularly ran mu with other types of PCCs; same for the all-electrics.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:22 PM

I should point out that I used publications of the Boston Street Railway Association to confirm and supplement my memory in providing this data.  Particularly the excellent books by Bradley Clarke, Hub Streetcars, 1940-1950, and The MTA`Era. These books are of similar quality to the excellent CERA North Shore and Milwaukee streetcar books.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 1:23 PM

And their Indiana Railway, the Magic Interurban

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, March 3, 2016 10:43 AM

Rather than start a new thread, with considerable interest in the Boston situation, I thought I would share my knowledge of home-built Third Avenue Railway - Third Avenue Transit home-built lightweight streetcars.

1935-1936:  101-150, higher arch roof end doors, conduit, built largely from retired single-truck battery cars spliced together.   WWII assignments T, 3rd and Amsterdam, K (Kingsboridge) 125th, Amsterdam and Broadway, 10th Avenue weekends, B Broadway-42nd Street peak service weekdays.

1936:  151-200:  Low,typical arch roof, end dorrs, conduit, also built largely from single-truck cars spliced together, assingments as above.

1937: 301-400  Built mostly of new material, patterened closely after 151-200, but trolley-poles, first cars equipped with dynamic brakes in addition to air.  Handling almosr all Westchester County service (Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, Pelham, New Rochelle, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (two cars), 9 (one car), A) plus O Ogden Avenue in The Bronx, with its steep grades and requiring only five cars.  A few of the 390's were equipped with conduit and suplemented the 101's on their routes.

1936:   551, Brill-built, aluminum, Peter Witt doors, conduit, exit door opposite, conduit, headlining and PCC-Brilliner lighting, not bare wood ceiling and exposed light bulbs like the rest, dynamic brakes as well as air.  B Broadway 42 St.

1937-1938:  552-600   Home-made, copies of 551 except exit doors staggered one-window toward right-hand rear of car. B Broadway 42nd Street

1938:  601-625.   Same, except thinner steel replaced aluminum, with two corrigations in the sides for added strength.  Also B Broadway 42nd  Were not scrapped but went to Sao Paulo Brazil, and some are preserved, one running on narrow gauge in a Brazil trolley museum.

1939: 626-645   Similar to 301-400, but like 551-625, a somewhat smoother front with slight skirting matching the step. Conduit    special trucks with rubber employed for noise and vibration control   X 59th Street Crosstown, passing several hospitals.  Also used on X 42nd Street Crosstown on Sundays only.

1939:  646-685   Same, except trolleypole.   S Sourthern Boulevard and T Treemont and Burnside Avenues

Although basically steel or aluminum cars, all had wood and canvass roofs.  All had Brill E-177-pattern trucks, except 626-645, using parts from Brill and pieces of Brill Maximum-Traction trucks off scrapped cars welded together. 626-645 trucks were similar, but rubber blocks replaced steel springs.  Alll were four-motored, mostly 35HP motors. All were double-end, used the Third Avenue - Omaha foot release pressure to apply brake interlocked with the line-switch for a "dead-man" feature, and also interlocked with the doors, so pressing the pedal to the floor both engaged the line-switch and closed the doors.  

Other lines used the 1201-1290(?) sereis of second-hand lightweights, none were condouit, including double-truck Birneys on W Webster-White Plains Avenue, wider than the rest of the fleet and restricted to that line; and the 01-100 and 201-300 straight-side Brill convertables and 851-1100 curved-side convertables, not all numbers present, some scrapped already.   The second-hand lightweights were 4-motored, the Convertables two-motored with masxium-traction trucks.  The B Mt. Vernon - Subway line was a Westchester exception using some straight-side convertables.  All stright-side convertables had trolleypoles, but 01-100 had conduit as well.  The curved-sides came in all three power configurations and seemed to be random as to whicih had what.   The 149th Street crosstown used a plow-pit and required cars with both power systems.  Manhattan lines using curved-side condouit-only convertables were 42nd and 125th Street Crosstowns and 10th Avenue.

The convertables assigned to Classon Point, V, had field shunts for higher speed, unusual for two-motored cars.   Don't remember the numbers.   Only five cars.

With the safety feature, all operations were with one-man cars.  

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, March 3, 2016 2:59 PM

A fair number of TARS cars were sent to Europe under the Marshall Plan.. Of these, 629 (Branford CT) and 631 (Seashore) have been repatriated from Vienna, Austria and restored to New York configuration.  631 is out of service with worn bearings at the moment.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 6, 2016 9:13 AM

But 629 has been repaired from Sandy damage and is back in service, for those Branford operators that like the Third Avenue (and Ombaha-Council Bluffs) foot pedal release to apply. depress to release and engage the line switch and shut the doors, brake system.   I liked it, learned to operate streetcars on that basis at age 15 in 1947 on The Bronx's Bailey Avenue Line, a one-car operation on a double-track line with little auto traffic and freindly Irish operators.  Lightweights and second-handers had already replaced a Brill convertable on that line because of the conversion of other lines.  So 629 was may favorite at Branford, 1970-1995, often with an ex-Third Avenue operator, Robert Marcus, may he rest in peace, as my operating partner.   What is particularly nice about this safety-brake system is the ease with which you can safely and slowly close in on another car in a car-house to maximize track capacity.  You simply leave the K controler in the first notch and then depress the foot pedal to inch up to the car ahead, knowing that you can stop instantly simply by removing your foot.  So I could leave the car with only two inches separating the car with confidence that actual contact would be avoided.  We always chocked cars when leaving them, not relying solely on the handbrake.

40 cars from the 626-685 series went to Vienna.  They were used on the Floresdorf suburban lines (31,32, 33), which had the necessary wider clearances.  A pantograph in the cennter of the roof replaced the two trolley poles, and all four doors were made double-leaf, only operator control, no treadle exit at the rear.  629 was converted back to Third Avenue arraangements, not sure about Capitol's. Crich ini England retains the Vienna door arrangement or did until recently.  Went to Vienna primarily to see and ride them in 1960 on my way to Israel, not noing I would ride and run one again at Branford.  (Also in Vienna heard Von Karajan conduct Beeethoven's 9th in the Grosser Musikvereinsalle, and hard to way which exprience was more important to me at the time.)

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, August 14, 2020 9:48 AM

lPCC's at the currenntly under-demolition Lechemere Station and viaduct incline, to be replaced by new facilities nearby enabling the exctention adjacent to B&M tracks to Sommervile and Medford.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, August 16, 2020 9:05 AM

A better scan of the previous photo (??, you be thev judge) and a Center-Entrance train entering the arrivals' side of Lechmere Station:

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 12:59 AM

Single PCCs to Lechemere were rare on weeldays, with two-car and three-car trains normal.  But Sundays did see regular single-car operation:

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 7:26 PM

Atthe Arborway, in 1950, one  of the 25 non-MU 1941 Pullman-built cars assigned N. Sta. - Eggleston, via the Subway and Tremont Av.  Later made MU.  Note the silver-colored wings each side of the headlight, only on 3000 - 3025.

An all-electric 1945 Pullman-built non-MU approaching Andrew Station on its non-rush-hour assignment City Point - Dudley Station.  During rush-hour, all 25 all-electrics were assigned to North Station - City Point.

  

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 8:11 AM

Here is 305 again, here at Matapan.  Based at Arborway. during non-rush-hours it could be used on Arborway (Forest Hills) - Matapam via Cummings Highway, or on the Charles River Loop line, but during rush hours it was needed on Eggleston - North Station via Tremont Street and the Subway.

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