Brooklyn, New York
Built 1947 • Operational • Tribute livery
This streetcar is painted to honor Brooklyn, which ran PCC streetcars from 1936 to 1956. Trolleys (as they were called there) were once such a part of the Brooklyn scene that the local baseball club was named the 'Trolley Dodgers', later shortened to, well...you know.
No. 1053 at night. Kevin Sheridan photo.
The Brooklyn & Queens Transit Corporation (B&QT) was one of the most active participants in the Electric Railway Presidents' Conference Committee (ERPCC) that designed the PCC streetcar. B&QT provided the ERPCC with laboratory space at one of its depots, as well as test trackage and a streetcar to be used for testing trucks and electrical equipment. BQ&T was the first to test a PCC prototype, and joined Pittsburgh and Chicago as the first to operate production PCCs in late 1936.
Brooklyn took delivery of 100 PCCs, all but the first one built by St. Louis Car Co. Like many PCC adopters, the transit company chose to draw attention to its new streetcars with a new paint scheme. In B&QT's case, it was an unusual color DuPont called Pachyderm Gray, a warm, brownish shade accented with a bright scarlet stripe under the windows and a blue-green stripe lower down.
Brooklyn had dozens of streetcar lines crisscrossing the borough and crossing the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges into Manhattan, but the PCCs primarily served only three routes: 67-Seventh Ave.; 68-Smith-Coney Island; and 69-McDonald-Vanderbilt.
In 1940, the New York City Board of Transportation took over B&QT, but no additional PCCs ever joined the Brooklyn fleet. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia didn't like streetcars, preferring buses instead, but finances and World War II were bigger barriers. But the 100 Brooklyn PCCs soldiered on, their original paint scheme replaced in 1946 by the light green and silver livery modeled on No. 1053.
Service across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Park Row terminal in Manhattan, a highlight of any Brooklyn PCC tour, ended in 1950, and by 1956, PCCs were completely gone from Dodgerland...only a year, as it turned out, before the Dodgers themselves.