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The PCC Type Trolley


The PCC type trolley represented a dramatic technological leap forward over earlier wooden trolley cars. The PCC represents the first time a streetcar was built to a standardized plan with standardized interchangeable parts. PCC trolleys were manufactured by the Pullman Car Company and St. Louis Car Company from 1936 until 1951. Much of PCC technology was first developed and tested in Brooklyn during the 1930s.

The PCC was the world's first light rail vehicle. PCCs accelerate and brake 2 to 3 times faster than a modern bus and provide an extremely smooth and comfortable ride, even on badly worn rails.

PCC technology was so revolutionary that by the 1950s almost all remaining trolley systems in the US, Canada and Mexico (and many in Europe) primarily ran PCC cars. In Prague and other European cities PCC type cars continue to be the mainstay of their light rail system.

The PCC was designed by the Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) to address the problem of increasingly traffic clogged streets and decreasing ridership. The PCC has proven to be one of the most durable and efficient rail vehicles ever manufactured. Even after a half-century of continual service, PCC trolleys continue to provide full time mass transit service in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco and other American cities.

BHRA owns a fleet of 15 PCC trolley cars and a substantial collection of replacement parts. Three of these cars formerly ran on Boston's Green Line. One of the former Boston trolleys (car # 3321) was the last trolley ever produced by the world famous Pullman Car Company (1951). BHRA recently acquired 12 additional PCC trolley cars. These cars were the last trolley cars to run in Minneapolis. They were then sold to Cleveland; running on Cleveland's Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line until the mid 1980s. These 12 cars are one of the few remaining matched fleets of PCC cars in the United States. These 12 trolley cars were built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1947 and are the same make as the fleet of 100 PCC cars that operated in Brooklyn from 1936 to 1956.



Floor plan and elevations of a typical A-7 Class PCC car.


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