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Old Jun 25, 2010, 4:59 PM   #1
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Default Toronto Transit Commission #4603

This trolley (aka streetcar) is at the National Capital Trolley Museum (NCTM). It was built in 1951 of components manufactured in St. Louis and Montreal, assembled in Montreal, and delivered to Toronto. It was completely overhauled in 1984 and continued to run in Toronto until that city shut down its trolley system in 1995. It runs today at the NCTM (and was rolling past me when I took this shot).

It was one of the last Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) type streetcars built in North America. Trolley systems in the US were all privately owned and in the early part of the 20th century comprised the 5th largest business in the country. The PPC design was agreed upon by a group of the presidents of the transit companies (not the U.S. Presidents), to be a standard design and was then duplicated for most of the trolley companies in North America. Until the 1950's you could see this streetcar in just about every major city in the U.S. and many Canadian cities.

The NCTM actually has one of the trolleys used in DC but it's not nearly in as good a condition as this one, not ever having been overhauled. So the only streetcar running in the U.S. Capitol area is a Canadian one.

Ted
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Old Jun 25, 2010, 5:41 PM   #2
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There's a cool little trolley system you can catch on the north side of downtown Dallas and ride up McKinney Avenue, which is a pretty bustling area of shops and restaurants. A cool, retro method of travel, sort-of like the streetcars of San Francisco, which is unique in that the cable runs under the streets instead of overhead like your image and here in Dallas.
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Old Jun 25, 2010, 6:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
There's a cool little trolley system you can catch on the north side of downtown Dallas and ride up McKinney Avenue, which is a pretty bustling area of shops and restaurants. A cool, retro method of travel, sort-of like the streetcars of San Francisco, which is unique in that the cable runs under the streets instead of overhead like your image and here in Dallas.
Some trolley systems did and do have their electrical cables under the street instead of overhead, but you're right that only the San Francisco cable cars still use a mechanical cable. Most of the trolley systems started out that way but everyone but San Francisco switched to electric traction because the mechanical cable system was a maintenance nightmare.

There are a surprising number of old trolley/streetcar systems still running as tourist/business attractions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCC_streetcar

And of course, light rail systems are making a comeback in many cities. The difference in terminology is that "light rail" is used to mean a protected right-of-way on the street, whereas the old trolley systems ran intermingled with the rest of the street traffic. So here's an interesting fact for baseball fans like you and me and Zig. If you lived in an urban area in the decades when a lot of streetcars were running, as a pedestrian you had to spend a lot of time avoiding being run over by the streetcars. Pedestrians in Brooklyn at the time that the baseball team started there, called themselves dodgers because as a matter of survival they spent so much time dodging the streetcars.

That's where that baseball team's name came from.

Ted

Last edited by tkurkowski; Jun 25, 2010 at 6:34 PM.
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Old Jun 25, 2010, 7:36 PM   #4
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Just when I thought I had found a new fellow Torontonian...what a disappointment.

BTW I used to ride those things when I was a child...the modern ones today all have safety windows, only the top windows open up, the bottom ones are just panes of plexiglass.

Last edited by Mikefellh; Jun 25, 2010 at 7:40 PM.
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Old Jun 25, 2010, 7:47 PM   #5
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Well I've been to Toronto and really like that city. That does count, eh?

You're among a small group of folks alive today who can say they rode real (commercially-running) trolleys. As far as I know, Toronto is the only city in North America that ran them until the end of the 20th century. Amazing...

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Old Jun 25, 2010, 8:51 PM   #6
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There's still streetcars running today...I just haven't taken pictures of them since as they're just part of the background "noise", so I had to find some pics via Google.

This is the style we've been riding on for the last 30 some odd years (this is actually a double):
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_3QjpLeE0-V..._streetcar.jpg

I've also been on a few prototypes for replacements including this one:
http://toronto.metblogs.com/archives...72673f727b.jpg
and
http://toronto.metblogs.com/archives...47a31f856e.jpg

And in fact streetcar service is going to be expanding in the city...there's going to be mostly underground streetcar service running along Eglinton (since you're familiar with T.O.) to replace many bus routes that run along Eglinton and turn off.
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