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Published on Aug 7, 2009
Two of the MBTA's PCC cars on the refurbished "High Speed Line". These are the "Wartime" model PCC's; the MBTA's "Wartime" cars were built by Pullman-Standard in 1945-1946.The cars have all been upgraded with air conditioning (the white bulge on the roof), and were last rebuilt in 2005.
The PCC, or President's Conference Committee car was designed by a design committee in 1929, in which many major electric railways were represented. The PCC car was designed to provide fast, reliable, comfortable service to compete for business with the growing bus lines. Prior to the PCC, there was no real standard design for subway cars or streetcars, as companies built their own design to meet their individual requirements. The PCC provided a standard, modern design, which could easily be integtrated into existing subway and streetcar systems. PCC's featured noise-reducing tires, smooth acceleration and braking due to improved control systems, a modern, streamlined design, and a comfortable ride for the time, although compared to Boston's state-of-the-art Type 8's, they are noisy, rough-riding, jerky and dated in design and accomidations. Boston purchased its first PCC in 1937 and ordered 20 more in 1941. Through the 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70's, the PCC provided the backbone of the trolley fleet in Boston. PCC's were not completley phased out on the Green Line until 1986, when the combined Boeing-Vertol (now out of service) and Kinki-Sharyo Type 7 fleet took full charge of Green Line service. Boston owned a grand total of 346 PCC's over the design's service. The "Wartime" or "Air-Electric" PCC design used air to operate the brakes, doors and windshield wipers. The "All-Electric" PCC had dynamic brakes and electric friction brakes for parking, as well as the sloped windshield seen on the PCC's on the High Speed Line. These PCC's have the distinctions of being the oldest equipment in continous revenue service in Boston, the only air-electric PCC's in revenue service in the country, and of being the only PCC's in the country to operate over a line which has seen continouos PCC service since their introduction to the system. MBTA roster information and PCC build/rebuild dates:http://mysite.verizon.net/rtspcc/MBTA... PCC technical statistics, courtesy of Wikipedia. Car length: 46-50.5 ft Width: 100-108 in Weight: 35,000-42,000 lb Traction system: 4 x 55 HP motors, 43/6 (~7.17) gear ratio Voltage: 600 V DC Braking system(s): ("All-Electric")1)-Dynamic Service Braking; 2)-Friction for Final Stop, Park; 3)-Magnetic (in order of activation) OR Air Friction Braking ("Air-Electric") Gauges Built: Wide, Standard, Narrow Gauges