This car is painted to honor Toronto, which ran PCC streetcars in regular service from 1938 until 1995. Toronto boasted the largest fleet of PCCs in North America: 745 cars.
Nowhere on the continent have streetcars had such continuing success, with routes running all over Canada’s largest city to this day. When the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) ordered its first PCCs in 1938, the city was already well served by a large fleet of all-steel Peter Witt style streetcars (some of which remained in active service until 1963), but needed more streetcars to meet growing demand. St. Louis Car Company shipped PCC body shells and trucks north for assembly by Canadian Car and Foundry. This became standard practice for Toronto’s ongoing purchases of new PCCs.
But the Canadian city was also a prolific buyer of used PCCs, picking up cars after World War II from Cincinnati, Cleveland (including the PCCs originally built for Louisville), Birmingham, and Kansas City.
The opening of heavy-rail subways decreased the PCC fleet in the late 1960s, and Toronto began replacing its beloved ‘Red Rockets’ in the late 1970s with Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (CRLVs), which themselves are in the process of being replaced by yet another generation of Canadian streetcar.
Muni’s Historic Trolley Festivals in the 1980s partly inspired the renovation of 19 PCCs for the new Harbourfront line that opened in 1990, but these were replaced by CLRVs just five years later, leaving only two PCCs in Toronto for charter service (along with one Peter Witt).
In the 1970s Muni acquired 11 ex-Toronto PCCs (originally from Kansas City) for brief service in San Francisco. They essentially kept this same maroon and cream paint scheme, with Muni’s ‘cable car ribbon’ logo replacing the ‘TTC’ logo. Now, this handsome “Red Rocket” livery is back on San Francisco’s streets to stay.
Twin City Rapid Transit Co., Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, 1946 (as car No. 321)
Public Service Coordinated Transport, Newark, NJ, 1953 (as car No. 2)
Acquired by Muni from
New Jersey Transit, Newark, NJ, 2004
St. Louis Car Co.
Brookville Equipment Company, PA, 2004-2011
4 General Electric 1220