Pittsburgh Railways, PCC Era / Early PAT


A Brief History...




Pittsburgh Railways had 666 PCC cars-the 2nd largest fleet in North America - and in my opinion, with some of the roughest terrain in the country. The cars were purchased beginning in 1936, with the company taking delivery of # 100, which was by most all accounts, the first delivered PCC car in the world. ( Another Pittsburgh First ! ) It ran in free demo service to see if the public like the new cars. You bet they did! So did Pittsburgh Railways, as they placed 7 additional orders for the cars between 1936 and 1947.

Car 100 was Pittsburgh's first PCC car. Built by St. Louis Car Co. it arrived in Pittsburgh on July 26, 1936 and went into regular service the following month.

It was the first PCC car put into revenue service in the country.

The first batch - 1000-1099 delivered in 1937 $15,715 ea.
They were air cars with no standee windows and with a split destination sign. A small cowling surrounded the pole base.

Batch 2 - 1100 series early 1938.
They were air cars with no standee windows. The destination sign was not split, and small cowling surrounded the pole base. Built by St. Louis Car Co.

Batch 3 - 1200 series, 1940.
The 1200 series were air cars with no standee windows, the destination sign was not split. The wiper blades rotated. A larger cowling surrounded the pole base and the bumper wrapped around.

Batch 4- 1400 series, 1942.
The 1400 series were air cars with no standee windows, the destination sign was not split, and the wiper blades rotated. A larger cowling surrounded the pole base and the bumper wrapped around.

Batch 5- 1500 series, 1944.
The 1500 series were air cars with no standee windows, the destination sign was not split. A large cowling surrounded the pole base and a small air intake was located forward of the cowling. Built by St. Louis Car Co. these were similar to the 1400 and 1200 series cars. This order was reduced from 100 cars to 65 due to WWII restrictions, the same reason you don't often see headlight wings on these cars.

Batch 6- 1600 series, 1945 & 46 $ 20,000 ea.
The 1600 series were the last air cars with no standee windows. Fully developed air cars, this group seemed to be experiments when Pittsburgh Railways wanted to try something different. Eleven of these cars were outfitted as interurbans to prove that PCCs could make the long run comfortably and leading the way for the 1700 interurbans.

There was Car 1600, which was an experimental pre-war all electric with a roof monitor and standee windows. Built by St. Louis Car Co. this car died in a shop fire at an early age.

Batch 7- 1700 series, $28,350 ea.
The 1700 series were Pittsburgh's only all electric cars with standee windows. A ventilating monitor ran the length of the roof, windows were sealed. ( read HOT ) 1700 series cars were slightly longer and the right windshield was curved to make room for the angled windshield. Built by St. Louis Car Co. Twenty-five of these cars were outfitted as interurbans. Some of these cars are also the ones that the Port Authority re-fitted in the 80's into the 4000 series.


If you are interested in the routes they ran on, please see Routes page... There is also a listing of carhouses, inclines and a list of "taken over" companies that formed PAT in the mid 60's


The demise of the trolley in Pittsburgh was a mostly political undertaking, which began as early as 1947, when the City Solicitor began a crusade to rid the city of its trolleys. By the early 70's the once mighty fleet of 666 had dwindled to 95 cars, and 4 lines.

Port Authority took over in 1964 and in the early 70's entered into its "early action program" which entailed renumbering and re-habing the 1600 leftovers ( not scrapped ) into 1700 series cars. Thus, we entered the "Psychedelic Era"

I have also included the PCC cars from shortly after the Port Authority took over in the pictures here on this page, as they are still the standard red and cream color of Pittsburgh Railways.





Picture Time! And there's a TON of them!



Car 1620 sitting at Traymore Stop.



Car 1626 inbound at Hampshire Stop.



Car 1713 at Drake loop.



Here is car 1726 fighting its way thru town.



Car 1672 nearing Fallowfield.



Car 1651 at South Hills Junction.



Car 1019 crossing a bridge on its way to Neville Island.



Car 1482, The symphony car, sitting downtown.



PCC on the old Palm Garden trestle.



Car 17?? siting at Avalon Loop awaiting its next trip.



A general shot of Craft Avenue Carhouse, in the 50's, on the Craft Ave side of the barn, with cars 1502 and 1111.



PCC 1276 sitting at Ingram Carhouse.



Car 1664, The Mohawk Airlines car, sitting downtown waiting on passengers.



Car 1706 emerging from the trolley tunnel at South Hills Junction. Looks COLD in there!



Car 1638 between Stevenson and Neeld Ave, Outbound on the 42/38 line.



Car 1622 outbound nearing Stevenson Stop.



Car 1240 coming off the Palm Garden Bridge.



Car 1253 also on Palm Garden trestle.



PCC 1449 Dressed in the Allegheny County Fair Livery, Go get 'em Annie Oakley.



Car 1496 advertising Plymouth in 1964.



Car 1613 somewhere heading to Washington, PA.



Car 1626 at the foot of the Smithfield St. Bridge, Carson St. side.



1644 on the Palm Garden trestle from a distance.



Car 1671 preparing to cross the Palm Garden trestle at Dawn Ave.



Car 1676 coming off the Smithfield St. bridge at Station Square, in a LOT of snow.



Car 1695 somewhere along the 21 Fineview line.



Car 1697 in the snow on the Fineview line.



Car 1709 in Beautiful downtown Washington PA.



Car 1731 emerging from the Herron Hill Carhouse.



Car 1464 at the 62nd St loop.



Car 1624 arriving at Charles St. on the 21 Fineview.



Outside view of Keating carhouse, now known as Ross Division.



1790 sitting outside Keating carhouse.



1677 at Spring Garden loop.



Various PCC cars at Tunnel Carhouse (South Hills Junction)



1408 and 1502 awaiting their operators for the day.






1466 shot along Ardmore Blvd.



1667 approaching the Smithfield St Bridge, Carson street side.



1788 on Rt 8 Perrysville.



1742 in Braddock on Forbes Ave.


1758 82Lincoln

1758 on the 82 Lincoln.



1712 sitting at Simmons Loop on the Library line.



1259 shot in Dormont.



1659 on the Carrick Route.



Rolling on past the Keating carhouse.


Here is 1604 climbing up Arlington Ave on the 49 Beltzhoover Rt.


1643 near Haberman St, RT 49.


1643 at the intersection of Arlington and Warrington, on RT 49.


1647 shot on a possible fantrip on the 44 Knoxville Rt.


1654 strolling along Brownsville Rd on the Carrick line, Rt. 53.


1724 rolling along on the Shannon Drake Route.


1001 at Liberty Ave, loading passengers at Penn Station.


1019 on layover at Sheridan Loop.


PCC 1161 on Rt.38, near Castle Shannon.


1451 on 2nd Ave, near Glenwood Carhouse.


1500 at 6th and Liberty in Downtown Pittsburgh.


1537 car at Pirl Loop, in McKeesport.


1604 on Forbes Ave, near Braddock.


1617 pulling Henderson St, on the 21 Fineview Line.


1628 at East Carson and 18th St, on Pittsburghs Southside.


1630 at Idlewood Ave, in Carnegie.


PCC 1633 at Fingal and Rutledge, on Mt.Washington.


1643 at Bunkerhill and St. Clair in Highland Park.


1646 on Frederick St in Overbrook.


1756 at Brinton Ave in Trafford.


1694 at Keating Carhouse.


1731 on Centre Ave. Civic Arena in background.


1744 & 1513 at Craft Ave Carhouse.


1747 on 5th Ave in Oakland.


1756 at Talbot St. Loop, in Braddock.


1756 on Wood St, Downtown.


1788 and 1795 At West View Park.


PCC M11 on the 21 Fineview, pulling Henderson St.


Overview of the old South Hills Junction.


Time for 1723 to get a motorman change at South Hills Junction.


1721 at South Hills Junction...Brrrr....


1795 on Brighton Rd, just past Oliver High School.


1795 at Climax and Haberman, Mt Washington area.


1550 at Freemont and Orchard Ave, Ross Twp, just outside of Bellevue.


1778 parked at Avalon Loop...Perhaps frozen to the track!


1500 pulling off the big hill coming out of Drake Loop.


1069 in Castle Shannon, heading to the fair.


1416 in her Marines dressing, on the Rt 22 Crosstown.


Another shot of 1449 at the carhouse.


1450 at Shady and Fifth, on the Rt. 60.


1450 at Mignonette and St.Clair, close to East Liberty loop.


1450 on the bridge just past Kennywood Park, over the Union Shops.


1450 with the Rankin Bridge in the background, on the way to Kennywood Park.


Here's 1450 sitting at Kennywood Park.


1450 in Duquesne, with West Penn Railways track in background.


1463 in her Civic Light Opera decor, at federal and Ohio St, on the 22 Crosstown.


1520 at old abandoned carhouse at Carson and 30th.


1643 on the Brady St. bridge, Rt 77/54.


1673 at Charles and Perrysville, RT 21.


1695 approaching Millvale Loop.


1697 on Rt 21, at Lenark and Catoma.


1700 on Mifflin Road.


1700 at Chislett and Jancey...on a real muddy day.


1705 at Brookside and Comanche Rd, on the Shannon-Drake.


1722 at Carrie and Warren, on the Fineview (21) Rt.


1722 near Brookside siding, Drake Line.


1793 on a bitter day, heading to Bellevue.


1676 on the 21 Fineview.


1795 on Grandview at Sweetbriar.


1795 on Brownsville Rd. RT 47.


Tunnel Carhouse, Otherwise known as South Hills Junction.


1697 on Kenilworth Ave in Brookline.


1697 on West Liberty Ramp to South Hills Junction.


Tunnel Carhouse from above.


Lincoln Ave in Bellevue.


1688 on the Fineview line at Bark and Suffolk.


Brighton Rd, Near Oliver High school.


1795 at Arlington and Hartford.


1474 entering Ben Avon.


1573 at Penn and Highland.


1751 at South Hills Junction in a LOT of snow.


Craft Ave Carhouse in Oakland.


Inbound PCC on Brookline Blvd.


1795 on Southern Ave.


1795 at East Carson and 24th St.


Carson St, by South High School.


1712 on the Shannon Drake.


Rt 39, coming down ramp from Dawn Ave to West Liberty Ave.


1707 and 1660 at Santa Barbara on the Drake line.


PCC on the Dookers Hollow Bridge in E. Pittsburgh.


1795 outbound on Brighton Rd, between Melia and Stayton.


1660 at Warrington and Estella.


1664 at Arlington Loop.


1550 at Fremont and Orchard, in Bellevue.