Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

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Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby mcgrath618 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:15 pm

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about the six abandoned PCC I trolleys that are sitting in North Philly, and can be clearly seen on the north side of the NEC.
https://technical.ly/philly/2015/03/19/ ... -trolleys/
This article has pictures of them but tells us nothing. However, it does have pictures of a bunch in the middle of Pennsylvania, which are now gone. Any info on why those were there and where they went is also helpful.
Thanks!
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Re: Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby mcgrath618 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:20 am


Thank you! Are they still on Craigslist anywhere? I can’t seem to find them.
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Re: Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:20 am

Oof. Based on my experience restoring a PCC, these cars are in need of hundreds of thousands of dollars of work apiece should they become museum or SEPTA property:

-stripping all the paint (with lead remediation)
-asbestos remediation
-possibly PCB remediation, I don’t remember if we had to deal with them
-rust removal, including cutting out and replacing panels, and a later trip into the sandblasting booth
-floor replacement. Did you know they’re plywood?
-seat reupholstery at minimum, replacement at worst
-full truck rebuild, including replacing the resilient parts of the wheels, and probably replacing all the bearings
-full motor rebuild, or replacement with modern AC or brushless DC
-full rewiring
-window and mirror replacement
-window roller repair, replacement, or elimination w/air conditioning added
-removal and replacement of all insulation (whatever wasn’t already gone with the asbestos)
-interior furnishing replacement, like window cranks and light fixtures
-controller rebuild or replacement
-farebox replacement
-rebuilding the doors
-if SEPTA or another transit agency, adding a wheelchair lift
-rebuilding or replacing he trolley pole, shoe, and retriever
-sealing, priming, and painting
-final assembly

It took our volunteer crew about 8 years to fully rebuild TCRT #322, and it was fresh out of service on the Newark Subway. These critters need much more work, and frankly may only be fit for parts at this point.
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Re: Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby mcgrath618 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:24 am

mtuandrew wrote:Oof. Based on my experience restoring a PCC, these cars are in need of hundreds of thousands of dollars of work apiece should they become museum or SEPTA property:

-stripping all the paint (with lead remediation)
-asbestos remediation
-possibly PCB remediation, I don’t remember if we had to deal with them
-rust removal, including cutting out and replacing panels, and a later trip into the sandblasting booth
-floor replacement. Did you know they’re plywood?
-seat reupholstery at minimum, replacement at worst
-full truck rebuild, including replacing the resilient parts of the wheels, and probably replacing all the bearings
-full motor rebuild, or replacement with modern AC or brushless DC
-full rewiring
-window and mirror replacement
-window roller repair, replacement, or elimination w/air conditioning added
-removal and replacement of all insulation (whatever wasn’t already gone with the asbestos)
-interior furnishing replacement, like window cranks and light fixtures
-controller rebuild or replacement
-farebox replacement
-rebuilding the doors
-if SEPTA or another transit agency, adding a wheelchair lift
-rebuilding or replacing he trolley pole, shoe, and retriever
-sealing, priming, and painting
-final assembly

It took our volunteer crew about 8 years to fully rebuild TCRT #322, and it was fresh out of service on the Newark Subway. These critters need much more work, and frankly may only be fit for parts at this point.

Why in God's name did they make the floors plywood?
Still, it would be cool to work on these...
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Re: Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:33 am

mcgrath618 wrote:Why in God's name did they make the floors plywood?
Still, it would be cool to work on these...

It’s cool until you’ve spent days torching, hammering, and trying to reshape just the anticlimber to some approximation of as-delivered shape, or cleaning and repacking all the bearings, or digging out the layers of rust, leaves, chewing gum, and bird droppings in the window wells... :P Definitely a privilege to help return it to service, but not always fun at all.

And plywood + vinyl (rubber? I forget) flooring is cheap and easy to drill for seat mounts. Fairly durable if marine plywood too, and kept maintained in service. Not my first choice either though! I’ll go yell at St. Louis Car Co about it :-D
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Re: Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby CNJGeep » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:49 am

Some of these cars have gaping and exposed holes in the roof. I'm not a psychic but it's not looking promising.
"I'll keep moving through the dark, with you in my heart, my blood brother." RIP D.C.
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Re: Abandoned PCCs in North Philadelphia

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:37 pm

Lead remediation for the paint may have already occurred. At least, the ex-Kansas City S.E.P.T.A. PCC car that went to Dutch Springs had no traces of lead paint, apparently it had all been removed before the Bicentennial paint was applied.
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