PCC car train formations

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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:49 am

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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:43 am

Ive referred back to this thread several times. Thanks again for the info guys.
Among the War Time cars, there are two different roof lines - one with a short cowling at the base of the trolley pole, and the other, much more prevalent (among available photos at least) with a full length cowling.
http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?13766
Am I right in thinking these are "original condition" and "retrofitted" I guess with air conditioning?
If so why were some cars never so treated, even as late at 1980?
http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?13746
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby typesix » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:31 pm

That full length cowling is a roof monitor for supply and exhaust air for the 3 thermostatically controlled(at least originally and during earlier rebuilds)ceiling fans, not airconditioning. Yes, some of the wartimes were retrofitted with fans. There are two classes of wartimes that completely have the roof monitor(3072-3096 and 3222-3271), but don't remember if 3222-3271 were retrofitted or came as standard. If Gerry6309 is around, he would know.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby dieciduej » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:19 pm

typesix wrote:That full length cowling is a roof monitor for supply and exhaust air for the 3 thermostatically controlled(at least originally and during earlier rebuilds)ceiling fans, not airconditioning. Yes, some of the wartimes were retrofitted with fans. There are two classes of wartimes that completely have the roof monitor(3072-3096 and 3222-3271), but don't remember if 3222-3271 were retrofitted or came as standard. If Gerry6309 is around, he would know.


Looking at some note provided by widecab, the process of installing the fans and the roof monitors began in early '49 and were completed by October 1949. The series was 3172-3186, 3188-3196 and 3222-3271. PCC 3017 was done as a prototype in 1944 but it seemed not to have the best results, 3187 was the second prototype that the rest followed.

Cars Begun Completed
3187 2/48 5/48
3172-3196 2/49 7/49
3222-3271 6/49 10/49
3072-3096 3/50 6/50
3162-3171 4/50 7/50
3152-3161 5/50 8/50
3057-3066 6/50 9/50
3142-3151 7/50 10/50#
3102-3111 8/50 11/50

#-3142-3151 done in lieu of 3067-3071 and 3097-3101 to yield more fan cars at Watertown.

Again thanks to George Chiasson for the info.

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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:25 am

excellent, thanks. Monitor - I learned a new word. Fans of course, I dont know why I thought air conditioning.

the ones I located in the nycsubway.org photos in MBTA times and without the monitor

3026 3042
3045 3046
3050 3056
3051 3052
3069 3070
3068 3099
3114 3116
3117 3118
3121 3122
3125 3127
3129 3132
3136 3141
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby RailBus63 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:54 am

The cars without the monitors were nicknamed 'Flattops'. There are a few photos around of the cars that later got the monitors in their original Flattop configuration.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:33 pm

Going back to the old Picture Window vs. Wartime MU issue…

All of the MU pins on the coupler were the same except for No. 4.

On the Wartime Cars the No. 4 pin was energized when the power pedal was pushed down beyond the switching position. It cut out a fixed resistor and enabled the field shunts. In later years the No. 3 and No. 4 pins were tied together, effectively eliminating the switching position.

On the Picture Window Cars, there was never a switching position. Pin 4 was originally used for a wheel slip detector, which would open the line breakers in the train if wheel spin occurred. This was deactivated at an early date.

To MU the two types in an emergency you had to tape over pin 4 and operate the train from the Wartime car

Due to the different uses of Pin 4, the types would not MU well as built. The changes over the years eliminated these issues but the practice of not MUing them continued.

After conversion to MU the Tremonts were exactly the same as Westinghouse Wartime Drum Brake cars.

The MU Groups were:

Westinghouse Tread Brake 3022-3047, 3049-3071

Westinghouse Drum Brake 3002-3009, 3011-3021, 3048, 3072-3096, 3222-3271

GE Tread Brake 3097-3121, 3123-3146

GE Drum Brake 3122, 3147-3196

All Electric 3197-3221

Picture Window 3272-3321

Non MU Cars 3001, 3010, 3322-3346

Tremont Cars were converted to MU in 1959. (3002-3009,3011-3021)

All Electric Cars were converted to MU in 1961 (3197-3221)

Dallas Cars had features of both MU and Non MU cars, but were not MU. The Illinios Terminal, Pacific Electric, and Philadelphia Suburban all had double-ended PCC type MU cars.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:40 pm

As far as the fans are concerned….

Only 3197-3221 and 3272-3321 were delivered with fans and roof monitors. (Despite the numbers, these were the last 75 cars delivered.) The rest were all retrofits.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Eliphaz » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:14 pm

well, that's a mountain of information, thanks for that!

amongst the various MU groups of war time cars
Westinghouse Tread Brake 3022-3047, 3049-3071

Westinghouse Drum Brake 3002-3009, 3011-3021, 3048, 3072-3096, 3222-3271

GE Tread Brake 3097-3121, 3123-3146

GE Drum Brake 3122, 3147-3196


were there visual differences between the types that would make assembling trains "fool proof" or did the yard crews have these catagories all committed to memory, and know exactly what was where at any given time?

Were trains made up daily, or did MU-ed formations stay together on a long term basis?
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Re: PCC car train formations

Postby Gerry6309 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:15 pm

Eliphaz wrote:well, that's a mountain of information, thanks for that!

amongst the various MU groups of war time cars
Westinghouse Tread Brake 3022-3047, 3049-3071

Westinghouse Drum Brake 3002-3009, 3011-3021, 3048, 3072-3096, 3222-3271

GE Tread Brake 3097-3121, 3123-3146

GE Drum Brake 3122, 3147-3196


were there visual differences between the types that would make assembling trains "fool proof" or did the yard crews have these catagories all committed to memory, and know exactly what was where at any given time?

Were trains made up daily, or did MU-ed formations stay together on a long term basis?


In general, Watertown trains were GE tread brake cars and Arborway had the Westinghouse Tread Brake cars.

GE Drum Brake cars lived at Bennett, Watertown and Reservoir but were only MUed at the latter.

Westinghouse Drum Brake cars were run from Reservoir on Commonwealth Av, hence the nickname "Commonwealths", while Picture Window cars ran on Beacon St. GE drums ran everywhere as needed and were mixed with West cars on Comm Av.

After Riverside opened,all types appeared at Reservoir, and mixed trains became common.

Trains were made up and broken constantly as needed.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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