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Free rides on vintage TTC streetcar Sunday

The TTC is offering free rides on a vintage streetcar to thank Beach residents and businesses for putting up with construction on Kingston Road last year.

The Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) car will run between the Woodbine and Bingham loops from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The classic burgundy-and-cream-coloured streetcars were in use from 1938 to 1995 and have been brought back for brief stints on the 509 Harbourfront line in recent summers.

The construction on Kingston Road started on June 3, 2013, on the stretch between Queen Street East and Victoria Park Avenue, and lasted almost seven months.

Crews replaced tracks, rebuilt the road, updated signals and improved the streetscape ahead of the upcoming arrival of the new fleet of low-floor streetcars.

The 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road streetcar routes were back to normal on Dec. 23, but the TTC postponed the free rides because of the ice storm.

PCC streetcar facts

  • PCC stands for Presidents’ Conference Committee, a North American transit industry committee which developed specifications for new-era streetcars.
  • The first PCC rolled into service on the St. Clair streetcar route in 1938.
  • The original 140-car order of PCC streetcars (the largest order in North America in 1938) cost the TTC $3 million. By 1951, more than 550 “streamliners” were running on most routes in Toronto.
  • By 1957, after acquiring more than 200 second-hand PCCs from U.S. cities, the TTC owned 745 PCC cars, the most in the world.
  • With the opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway in 1966, and the arrival of CLRV and ALRV streetcars (fleets in service today) in the 1980s, PCC streetcars were gradually retired from service.
  • The TTC carried out a major rebuilding of 188 PCC cars in the early 1970s, prolonging the useful life of 25-year old cars until the CLRV fleet was delivered.
  • The last 19 PCC streetcars were retired from regular service in 1995.
  • Length: 14.2 metres
  • Height: 3.1 metres
  • Weight: 16,964.4 kilograms
  • Seats: 46

Source: TTC

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