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PCC 1950 Memories - The June 28, 1998 Charter

Text and photos by: James Bow

Of the 750+ PCC cars to have operated on Toronto's streets, the TTC retain four. Two of these cars operate as the system's soon to be scrapped rail grinders while the other two, 4500 and 4549, were restored to their 1950s look and operate primarily as charter vehicles. Just ten years ago, the TTC had eighteen rebuilt PCC streetcars operating throughout the system, but service cuts rendered these cars surplus, and they were sold off to other systems.

It was a warm, sunny June day when about twenty railfans ranging in ages from 12 to 60 arrived at Russell Carhouse to ride on one of the last PCC cars operating on the TTC. The ride was to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the last PCC operated in Chicago, whose streetcar system wasn't as lucky as Toronto. The charter boasted railfans from many places across the United States, a railfan from Germany, and some local people. A number came because they had never ridden on a PCC before; others were returning to an old friend they hadn't visited in a while. Whatever the reason, a good time was had by all, and residents walking the streets of Toronto got a rare look of a streetcar that wasn't so rare just ten years ago.

June 1998 PCC Charter Image Archive

All in all, everyone had a great time and I myself am looking forward to the next streetcar charter...

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