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
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.