PCC car train formations

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PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:52 pm

In researching MBTA PCC car paint schemes of the 1960s and 70s, Ive noticed that two principal type of cars, the "War time" and the "Picture Window" types, were never mixed together. Trains of two or three cars were always all one or the other type.

What was different about the two orders that prevented them from operating together?
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby jwhite07 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:33 pm

According to the book "PCC Cars of Boston 1937-1967" by Edward A. Anderson, all of the air-electric MU classes of PCC could theoretically trainline, but the Picture Window cars were generally segregated because they were four inches wider than other PCCs. The All-Electric PCCs, 3197-3221, could not trainline with air-electrics.

While the ex-Dallas double ended PCCs and the early Tremont class 3002-3021 had couplers, they were not equipped for MU control and operated as single cars.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby dieciduej » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:27 pm

The Picture Window cars, 3272-3321, used the GE MCM control type which was different than the War Time cars. The War Time cars, 3022-3071 were Westinghouse XD-423L control type and 3097-3146 were GE 17KM12F1 control type. The MCM control evolved from more of a rapid transit car than the previous streetcar control. I believe that was the reasoning for them not MU-ing with others.

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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby typesix » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:26 pm

The Tremont class was later equipped for MU operation. Picture Window cars were much jerkier than previous cars, another possible reason not to MU them with other air electrics.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby dieciduej » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:08 am

dieciduej wrote:The Picture Window cars, 3272-3321, used the GE MCM control type which was different than the War Time cars. The War Time cars, 3022-3071 were Westinghouse XD-423L control type and 3097-3146 were GE 17KM12F1 control type. The MCM control evolved from more of a rapid transit car than the previous streetcar control. I believe that was the reasoning for them not MU-ing with others.

JoeD

I stand corrected regarding the Picture Windows and War Time units MU-ing. They could MU together, it was done many times in shop/yard moves, the biggest reason was jwhite07 their width was the issue. As a sidebar the Picture Windows were power hogs and took a few more amps to get moving.

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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby typesix » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:29 am

If one wants to really get picky, the Wartime cars many years ago, were also segregated into different MU groups according to whether they had drum or shoe brakes and GE or Westinghouse controllers
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:42 pm

interesting info thanks gents.
did the picture window cars being wider restrict them from any routes?
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby dieciduej » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:02 pm

The Picture Windows traveled through out the system. But initially they were not used on the Boston College line, for reasons that remain unclear, but eventually they were there.

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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby frank754 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:55 pm

When were the green vs Orange paint schemes decided, and was the color change done regardless of PCC model?
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:04 am

the orange and cream color scheme originated pre-MBTA. The green and white starts appearing in 1972 and was applied to both types gradually over the next six or eight years.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:50 am

frank754 wrote:When were the green vs Orange paint schemes decided, and was the color change done regardless of PCC model?



To clarify further, there were two different ‘orange’ schemes. The first was the traction orange which dated from the BERy days to the 1950’s. The second was the darker tangerine color which the MTA introduced. Every PCC class except the original Queen Mary car were repainted in the tangerine colors. As everyone knows, the MBTA brought back the traction orange for the rebuilt PCC’s in the 1990’s.

Some PCC’s were repainted in tangerine in the early and mid 1970’s’ even after the green scheme was already out – supposedly one of the shops had a surplus of paint that wasn’t to go to waste! These cars were distinguishable by their solid orange doors (which later migrated as spare parts to some green cars).

Of course, in between the tangerine and the green scheme we had the MBTA’s famous ‘Gray Ghost’ scheme, and every PCC class except the Dallas cars had at least one car painted gray. As noted above, the green scheme was introduced in 1972 and multiple cars in all remaining classes were repainted. A major variation with the white and gray bands carried across the doors was introduced with rebuilt car #3072 in 1976 and was subsequently applied to other rebuilt cars, plus the rehabbed Picture Window cars in 1982 and a few unrebuilt wartime cars a year or so later. A minor unofficial variation with darker green was applied to five or so Picture Window cars at Arborway while the line was down in 1980-81 but I don’t believe they ever ran in service that way.

Fun stuff!
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:29 pm

this interesting picture dated july 1972
http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?14117
may have been the roll-out of the Green line green scheme.

This one show the two types of orange doors and one occurrence of orange door in green car.
http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?14123
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Eliphaz wrote:this interesting picture dated july 1972
http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?14117
may have been the roll-out of the Green line green scheme.

Slightly off-topic, but is that photo actually at Riverside? Certain background elements (a bridge about where the end of that yard is and some ratty-looking apartments behind the Type 3) don't match up with anything currently at Riverside.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:17 pm

Definitely looks like Resevoir to me. With buildings on Cleveland Circle in the background.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Disney Guy » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:01 am

Picture #14117 above.

In addition most of the Riverside yard was continuously paved (smooth asphalt between the rails) since the public walked across the area to board trains on the inner tracks.

This is the Reservoir upper yard. The original small station hut and the Chestnut Hill Ave. underpass for the tracks continuing westbound are in the distance at the left.

The caption mentions MBTA/BSRy. It's BERy for Boston Elevated Railway.
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