Mr. Harlem Line wrote:Thank you very much for the responses. As I was reading , a few more questions came up.
St. Louis pre war ( air electric) models had raised fluting above the windows and on the belt rail, while their Pullman Standard counterparts did not ( had smooth sides in those locations).
Is there a specific purpose for the fluting, or was it just part of the design?
Boston has gone exclusively with left hand door Pullman-Standards, with the exception of their very first trial PCC - "the Queen Mary", which was a St. Louis Car Company product.
Is there a photo online of "The Queen Mary"? I'm interested to know what the first PCC for Boston looked like.
Just a couple of more questions I like to throw in while I'm at it...
What were some of the improvements(if any) did the post-war PCCs have over their pre-war counterparts?
Also, how many different classes of PCCs, such as A7 and A8, are there? Are these classes designated to specific operators?
Was Boston the only city to run PCCs consists of three(or more) cars? As seen in this photo.
Sorry about asking many questions...just want to learn a bit more of the PCC.
Most of these questions are answered in an on-line article "PCC Cars- Not So Standard", but since I don't remember the web site that has it, I'll try to give you some highlights.
Though the PCC car is described as being a standardized design ( and it was more standard than previous designs) there were about 32 or so different variations. The basic "division" is between the pre-war and post war models. The pre-war models were air-electric"-- ie they had air operated doors and brakes ( as well as dynamic braking) while the post-war models were "all-electric"--everything was electrically operated including the doors and brakes.
In appearance, the most noticable difference is that the pre-war models had no standee windows and smaller windshields and rear windows, while the post-war models had standee windows and taller front and rear windows. ( Actually the cars themselves were taller to accomodate the taller front and rear windows). Additionally, the windshields on the post war cars were sloped to cut down on the reflection of the interior lights into the operator's eyes. There were two variations on this slope-- one version ( the largest number of cars) had a 24 degree slope, and a second version had a 32 degree slope. Most companies opted for the 24 degree slope because it was felt that the 32 degree slope took too much interior space. The city of St. Louis had the largest number of cars using the 32 degree windshield slope.
Other variations dealt with such things as car length-- Chicago's PCC's were the longest single ended units while DC's were the shortest being one window shorter than standard--whether the cars were double ended or single ended etc. Additionally there were cars built using a "modified" PCC body which technically were not PCC because they did not use the patented PCC components---One such group of cars were 14 double ended high speed suburban-interurban cars built in 1949 for the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co ( Red Arrow Lines) which had high speed trucks, a control system which allowed for higher speeds, and more powerful motors than the standard 55 hp PCC motors. (the Red Arrow Motors were 75 hp). These cars used the pre-war non standee window body, but with the post war 32 degree windshield slope on both ends, and were of the Chicago length to accomodate the second platform.
Another variation, also seen in Philadelphia, was a non standee window all-electric type ( with the taller windshield and rear window and which used the 24 degree slope). These cars had taller side windows than "standard" because of the absence of the standee windows. These cars were originally built for Kansas City as the president of that company did not like the standee windows. Philadelphia acquired 50 of the cars second hand, and I believe that Toronto also acquired some of these cars.
One early standee window type car was built in the late 1930's by the Clark Manufacturing Co for Brooklyn ( No 1000). This car is the earliest standee window PCC car, and is the only complete PCC ever built by Clark, which concentrated on manufacturing the PCC Clark B-2 trucks which were standard on PCCs. This car still exists in a trolley museum.
Additionally, Philadelphia and Baltimore PCC cars ( including the 14 interurban cars mentioned above) were built to the wide guage trackage used in each of the cities, while the DC cars were the only PCC's to use the underground conduit current collection system.
The PCC cars built for the City of St. Louis also had a different control system than standard, which created problems when those cars were sold to other systems. Philadelphia acquired 50 pre-war models from the city of St. Louis at the same time they acquired the Kansas City Cars, but found the cars from St. Louis to be unsatisfactory because of the control system. Those cars only lasted about five years before they were scrapped, while the Kansas City Cars ran into the early 1980's.
There are other variations which are best explained in the article I mentioned if you can find it. The best place to find photos of the various types is the http://www.nycsubway.org
site mentioned in 3rd rail's post.