5010 on Brand Boulevard in 1948
Pacific Electric no. 5010 poses with its front doors wide open, beckoning passengers to board America’s most beautiful PCC.
From Ralph Cantos:
In this 1948 photo, PE’s fleet of 30 PCCs have weathered the heavy demands of World War II in good shape . The PCCs , with help of the ever trusty Hollywood cars, came through with flying “colors” as seen by the beautiful condition of the 5010. While PE’s Northern and Southern districts my have operated bigger and more glamorous interurbans such as the “Butterfly 12s”, the Western district did its share for the war effort. The PCCs did the Pacific Electric proud!
Ralph Cantos Collection
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Like the narrow-gauge PCCs that went to Chile and Egypt, the PE streamliners did not fare well in a foreign land. Their service in Argentina (where they shared track with 1100s and unrebuilt Hollywood cars) was rather brief, and none survived.
It wasa real shame MBTA or Shaker Heights or san fran did not acquire these or museums I would have rather seen them there in Philly Would have been nice but they would have had to be re-guaged to 5ft 2 1/4 inches
San Francisco Muni was shopping for PCCs in the 1950s, but I think they were more interested in post-war all-electrics, which they found in St. Louis. (the PE PCCs were air-electric)
Perhaps the car’s greatest feature was simply its ride quality, stressed to be quite comfortable so as to improve passenger comfort. One way in which this was accomplished was by using rubber around nearly all of the sills of the carbody to reduce noise as much as possible, including the wheel tires. Additionally, engineers looked to reduce the noise of the electric gearing, a constant source of irritation in other types of cars where rattling and squealing regularly occurred while in operation. To accomplish this a gear type known as a hypoid was placed at a 90-degree angle to the axle instead of directly on the axle. Following this the trucks of the car also featured liberal amounts of rubber to further reduce any additional noise.