Thursday, April 14, 2011

DC Transit - PCC Streetcars

For almost 100 years the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital, had a very successful streetcar line. The early cars were pulled on rails by horses until the introduction of electric streetcars at a later date. It was a first class operation with a large rolling stock of magnificently maintained PCC cars. I remember my father marveling about DC’s wonderful underground conduit collection (power source for the cars) which meant that the overhead wires were not necessary in the busiest parts of the city. The power was changed to overhead wires farther from the center of town. So when the trolley went out to Glen Echo Amusement Park for example the over head wires were called into service. That meant that the trolley pole was raised to meet the wires suspended from poles on the streets. It was an amazing sight to watch the switch.


  1. I remember that! I rode the line out to Glen Echo several times, and enjoyed watching that switchover. Years later I had the chance to hire on the RR, & was lucky enough to work as a passenger locomotive engineer for 19 years, in & out of NYC.

  2. That Glen Echo car nearly flew on the old Cabin John bridge...or so I have heard at the National Capital Trolley Museum...