This streetcar is painted to honor Chicago, which ran PCC streetcars from 1936 to 1958. Chicago had the largest PCC fleet ever purchased new by one city–683 cars.
Chicago’s first PCCs hit the streets in November 1936. At 50′ 5″ they were the longest single-end PCCs ever built, and boasted three sets of doors to swallow crowds quickly. Each PCC carried two crew members. Passengers boarded through three pairs of double doors at the rear of the car, paid their fare, and moved forward, exiting through doors either at the center or front of the car. The design worked well and Chicago stuck to it, though no other city followed suit.
The first Chicago PCCs were nicknamed ‘Blue Geese’ after their paint scheme, so it was natural that the cars delivered in green after the war would be dubbed ‘Green Hornets’ after the then-popular radio serial.
Chicago Transit Authority closed its last streetcar line in 1958, but its PCC streetcar fleet “died and went to heaven,” because many parts of the cars were used in new PCC elevated trains used on the famous Loop.
PCC days in the Windy City were immortalized in the song “Old Days,” by the rock group Chicago (the group was originally named Chicago Transit Authority).
“Old days, good times I remember.
Gold days, days I’ll always treasure.
Funny faces, full of love and laughter.
Funny places; summer nights and streetcars
take me back to a world gone away.
Boyhood memories, seem like yesterday.”
When the F-line opened in 1995, car No. 1058 was painted in the final 1950s Chicago Transit Authority PCC livery of green and cream. However, when it was repainted in 2010, it was switched to the more famous “Green Hornet” livery of “Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swampholly Orange”, adopted in the era immediately following World War II.
No. 1058 is a fitting tribute to the place Carl Sandburg called “The City of Big Shoulders” — and Big PCCs!
Philadelphia Transportation Company, Philadelphia PA, 1948 (as car No. 2124)
Acquired by Muni from
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia PA, 1992
St. Louis Car Co.
4 Westinghouse 1432J