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D.C. Transit 1304
from Washington D.C.
Washington, like London, Paris and New York's borough of Manhattan, had banished "unsightly" overhead wires from its streets, so its PCCs, including the one at Seashore were, like the Museum's traditional , equipped with an under-floor "plow" for current collection from an underground vault between the running rails. The cars also had trolley poles for use in suburbs where lines had overhead trolley wires. In the 1950s, about 80 cars, not including Seashore's 1304, were equipped with small motors to raise or lower trolley poles to be caught by an overhead pan that guided the pole onto the trolley wire as the car moved ahead. This would save wages by partly ending the need to have trolleymen stationed at all change locations at all hours of service.
Curiously, thought the costs of maintaining and operating the conduit current collection system must have been increasingly burdensome, they do not seem to have been advanced as a cogent argument for early termination of streetcar operations. The concentration of government workers in the city kept the transit system very well utilized. Streetcar lines were retained and modernized with over 500 streamliners serving a dense city network which also reached into suburban Maryland and Virginia. Well maintained and progressive, the privately owned system in late 1949 built a major underpass beneath Dupont Circle. But federal policy of the era demanded buses, and Congress banished streetcars from the city over prolonged opposition by many citizen groups as well as the transit system. The last cars ran in 1962.
No. 1304, built by St. Louis in 1941 for the Capital Transit Company, came via General Electric Company's Erie, Pennsylvania, Works. GE acquired the car to be used as a test vehicle to develop the automatic train control equipment later used on New Jersey's high speed Lindenwold rapid transit line, which connects New Jersey suburbs to Philadelphia.
Manufacturer: St. Louis Car Co.
Item Type: City and Suburban Streetcar
Description: PCC, Pre-war air-electric
|Operation: Single-ended||Seats: 49|
|Trucks: 2 Clark B-2||Motors: 4 General Electric 1198|
|Brakes: Dynamic / Air Tr / Track||Compressor: PC-2|
|Length: 42' 0"||Width: 8' 4"||Height: 11' 0"||Weight: 34440 lbs.|