Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Built 1947 • Operational
Minneapolis-St. Paul came late to PCC streetcars. Its private operator, Twin City Rapid Transit, was fiercely proud of its own car-building capabilities, and even sold cars it built to other properties. So, they had no interest in participating in the industry group that designed the PCC in the mid-1930s.
As World War II took a toll on TCRT’s all-wooden streetcar fleet, though, management gave in, first acquiring a demonstrator PCC in 1945, then placing three successive orders from St. Louis Car Company. The bodies were built extra tough for the demanding Minnesota winters.
The first group of 40 cars required a crew of two people, motorman and conductor, like Muni’s first PCCs. When that requirement was eased, though, the conductor’s station was removed and later orders were designed for single-person operation.
The PCC era in Minneapolis-St. Paul ended up being one of the shortest anywhere. A battle for control of Twin City Rapid Transit ended with all streetcar lines being converted to buses by June 1954. Its PCCs, still almost like new, all found new homes quickly. Of the 141 Twin City PCCs, 91 went to Mexico City, 20 went to Shaker Heights, Ohio, and 30 went to Newark, New Jersey, where they served another half-century on the ‘City Subway’ line.
Eleven of these Twin Cities-turned-Newark cars were purchased by Muni in 2004 and renovated for F-line service, including this one, TCRT No. 362. Now Muni No. 1071, it again proudly wears its original Twin City Rapid Transit livery, a striking blend of bright yellow and forest green.
One original Twin City PCC. No. 322, returned to its home city, and is now in museum operation on a portion of the historic and scenic Como-Harriet line.