This car commemorates Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. (PST)–the ‘Red Arrow’ lines serving Philly’s western suburbs–which ran interurban cars with some PCC features from 1949 to 1982.
PST’s city cousin was named Philadelphia Rapid Transit (PRT) (represented by PCCs Nos. 1055 and 1060), but actually PST was far faster, running on suburban rights-of-way far from city streets.
In 1940, PST modernized its fleet with ten ‘Brilliners’, a PCC competitor from old-line trolley builder J.G. Brill & Co. But the PST order turned out to be the last cars Brill ever built. Needing more cars after the war, PST turned to St. Louis Car Co., which offered a body shell nearly identical to one bought by Muni (including car No. 1007) and Illinois Terminal Railroad. The Red Arrow cars, though, had rear doors only half as wide as the standard double-end body.
The 14 Red Arrow cars, delivered in 1949, were equipped with non-PCC trucks (wheel and axle assemblies), along with motors and brakes designed for fast open-track running. These cars were capable of reaching 70 mph. Initially, these PCC-lookalikes ran on the 19-mile West Chester line, but later served the Sharon Hill and Media lines.
The private PST was taken over by the public SEPTA agency in 1970, and by 1982 the PCCs and Brilliners were supplanted by Kawasaki light rail vehicles.
Underneath the “Red Arrow” livery, No. 1007 itself has actually been a San Francisco Muni streetcar all its life. It ran from 1948 until 1982 on Muni’s J, K, L, M, and N lines, and was then retired and stored before being rehabilitated for the F-line opening in 1995. At first, the restored No. 1007 was painted in a modernistic silver and red San Francisco scheme similar to Muni’s Breda LRVs. It wasn’t popular, so Muni’s paint shop applied the handsome “Red Arrow” livery in 1997.
» Philadelphia Transportation Co. (PTC) No. 1055
» Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company No. 1060
San Francisco Municipal Railway, San Francisco CA, 1948
St. Louis Car Co.
4 General Electric 1220E1
St. Louis B-3