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A December PCC Charter - December 5, 1998

Text by: James Bow, Photos by Steve Booth and Brad O'Brien

The last streetcar charter of 1998 took place on a grey but warm Saturday afternoon on December 5. At around noon, PCC 4549 (the second charter PCC in the TTC's fleet), trundled out for a tour of Toronto.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this charter, having commitments in Waterloo, and I sorely missed it. Oh, well. At least Brad O'Brien of the Toronto Transportation Society and Steve Booth of the Halton County Radial Museum were in attendance. Their photographs should give you an idea of the places this group went and the things they saw...

Interior shot of PCC

This charter looks to have been well attended, if this picture is any indication. That's good news, as the TTC has had to increase its prices in order to maintain its two vintage streetcars. This author hopes that more charters are in the offing for 1999. (Brad O'Brien photo)

Wellington Street

Unlike the previous charter, which picked up at Russell Carhouse, this charter picked up at the corner of Dundas and Victoria, so the first photo-stop was here, on westbound Wellington Street, inside the canyon of office buildings in Downtown Toronto. It's an impressive sight, even if you can't get the whole building in the shot. Actually, for a moment, I thought that this PCC was travelling eastbound, instead of westbound (Wellington Street is one-way, westbound). Given some of the other crazy things that happened on this charter, it seems just slightly plausible... (Brad O'Brien photo)

PCC at Oakwood Loop

As with other charters, the lunch stop was at Oakwood Loop. Because of the great turnout, Jack Doyle (one of the organizers of the event) bought everybody pizza at the nearby Pizza Pizza. Thanks, Jack! (Brad O'Brien photo)

PCC at Roncesvalles

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to Roncesvalles. Here, PCC 4549 squeezes past the carhouse offices. The operators were apparently surprised to see the PCC trundle in, but charters have always been welcome visitors to this venerable facility. (Brad O'Brien photo)

PCC on Kipling

Here, the PCC pulls onto Kipling Avenue for a visit to Kipling Loop. (Brad O'Brien photo)

Group shot at Long Branch

Steve Booth captured this group photograph at Long Branch Loop. The day was getting late, and so it was time to head back. But the fun wasn't over, just yet (Steve Booth photo)

Twilight Shot

The December charters of the Jack Doyle Historical Railway Society always offer up excellent opportunities of twilight pictures. Here's a shot of the PCC all lit up, at King and Church. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Thanks go out to Jack Doyle and Pat Lavallee for organizing this fun, memorable and very well attended event. Charters are great opportunities for like-minded rail enthusiasts to meet, ride and enjoy themselves, and it is hoped that this tradition continues. The TTC's concerns about the high costs of maintaining its vintage fleet put these charters in doubt, but if future charters can be as well attended as this, then that goes a long way to dispelling that doubt. I just hope that I can attend the next one.

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