APTA Streetcar and
Seashore Trolley Museum Logo
Heritage Trolley Site
Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum
Boston, MA

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Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates an extensive rail and bus system throughout eastern half of Massachusetts. The system includes a large commuter rail network, three heavy rapid transit lines, four subway surface light rail lines, two "bus rapid transit" lines, several trackless trolley routes, a large bus network, and a single PCC car operated streetcar line.

The Boston transit system has operated PCC cars continuously since the initial demonstrator was delivered in 1937 and is the only transit system in North America to have kept the cars on their active roster since the PCC design was developed.

The remaining line using these cars is the Mattapan-Ashmont high speed trolley line, built in 1928 along a former steam railroad right-of-way as an extension of the Cambridge-Dorchester (now "Red") rapid transit line. The line has used PCC cars since the 1950s and the cars now serving the line were extensively rebuilt in the last decade. They are the only remaining PCC cars built by Worcester, Mass.-based Pullman-Standard and the only air-electric PCCs still in service.

Before undertaking the reconstruction of these cars, the MBTA held numerous community meetings along the line testing reaction to replacement of the line by buses or introduction of more modern equipment. The riders expressed strong preference for the PCC cars and that led to the rebuild project.

In 2006 operation of the line was suspended to allow reconstruction of the Ashmont transfer station, replacing the old station that dates from the line's construction in the World War I era. Service was restored in December 2007.

Click on the photos below of Boston's PCC cars to enlarge them to full size:

The first car to emerge from the rebuild program on the day of its dedication, September 14, 1999 at Mattapan Station.

Also on dedication day at Mattapan. Boston PCCs had left hand doors for boarding in the subway or at transfer stations.

At the old Ashmont Station the cars looped and entered the station to a platform immediately adjacent to the rapid transit trains for easy transfer.

People transferring at the old Ashmont Station. The across-the-platform transfer is omitted from the new station design.

An inbound PCC at the old Ashmont Station discharged passengers through the left door leading directly to the Red Line trains.


The following news notes give an overview of developments in Boston:


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