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Boston Elevated Railway 3003
1941 Pullman-Standard Car Co.
by William E. Wood, March 2001
The Boston Elevated Railway was nearing the point of coming to a halt in the late 1930's due to the age of its fleet of streetcars. The newest cars were the "Type 5", which were from the early 1920's and many cars were pre-World War I. The Boston Elevated had been hit hard in the depression years, but things were starting to look up.
B.E.Ry. had been involved in the work of the Electric Railway Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) from its very start for a "standard" new streetcar design, with its General Manager Edward Dana being on the Executive Committee. However, the Boston Elevated operating department was very down on something not designed by "their people" and did not think the PCC car could be made to fit on "All Lines". In 1935, Dana proposed getting 25 cars, but this was studied to death and the order was reduced to one car in 1936 - bought through the Brooklyn & Queens Transit Corp. from St. Louis Car Co.
In May 1937, car #3001 arrived in Boston. It was the first streamlined car in Boston and became known as the "Queen Mary". It operated between Arborway Station and the Charles River Loop in West Roxbury. Four years later, in March 1941, a group of 20 new cars, numbered 3002 - 3021, came from Pullman-Standard of Worcester, Mass. Our car #3003 was part of this group, which was placed in service from Watertown to Park Street Station in the Subway. The one major non-standard design item added to the PCC standard design was a left-hand center door for use in the subway. These cars were not multiple unit design when ordered. Car #3003 was a "pay as you enter" car, Electric-Air operation, with Clark B-2 trucks with WH-1432 motors.
As built, these PCC cars had 52 seats, lift type window mechanisms, no drum or shaft brakes, Westinghouse air brakes on track brakes, and blinker type doors. Over the years car #3003, along with the others, had a number changes and additions, including being re-equipped with wiring and couplers for multiple-unit operation as well as a back-up control in 1959. Early on in 1949, the blinker type doors were replaced by outward folding doors. Over the last years of operation, the window guards on the inside windows were removed. In the 1959 overhaul, #3003 received W.A.B. Co. drum brakes and actuators, together with roof searchlights and whistles. Over time, the cars of the group were equipped with roof fans by the company.
In 1949, the Boston Elevated Railway was purchased by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and named the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). About this time it was also planned to increase standee capacity by replacing a number of double seats with single seats. This was completed between the years 1948 and 1950. This earliest of Boston PCC cars would soldier on, operating on all the surface trolley lines until the coming of "infamous" Boeing-Vertol light rail vehicles in mid 1976. Now called the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the MBTA started eliminating many of the PCC cars, which lead to the Connecticut Trolley Museum obtaining car #3003. She arrived at the museum in 1977.
| Controls: Westinghouse XD
Motors: 4 - Westinghouse 1432D
Brakes: Air, Electric, Dynamic
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