Rail Transit Philadelphia the PTC Years 1940-1968 by Vible & Elsner SC loose map

Rail Transit Philadelphia the PTC Years 1940-1968 by Vible & Elsner SC loose map

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Rail Transit Philadelphia the PTC Years 1940-1968 by Vible & Elsner SC loose map
Rail Transit Philadelphia the PTC Years 1940-1968 by Vible and Elsner SC 1992
Soft Cover
Copyright 1992
79 Pages
By Richard Vible and Henry Elsner
Response to Rail Transit Philadelphia - 20 Colorful Years, 19694989 has prompted the compilers of that volume to look back at the immediately preceding decades of street railway transportation in the Quaker City. The time threshold for stable dyes in amateur color photography appears to be about 1939; we have therefore begun this survey at approximately that point. As might be expected, however, the bulk of available material dates to a later period, well within "The PTC Years" (1940-1968). Those 29 years saw the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) replace the former Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (PRT), in turn yielding control to the current operator, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
The focus of this book is necessarily different from that of 20 Colorful Years. Instead of calling attention to varied paint schemes (although the careful reader will spot a perhaps surprising number) sections are organized around the different streetcar types in use at the time, from the fabled Nearsides through the diminutive Birneys to the growing fleet of PCC streamliners. A secondary focus is on randomly selected but reasonably representative scenes on a number of routes in urban and countryside settings. Most, like the cars that served them, are long gone.
The photographs present a picture not only of a largely vanished mode of transportation, but of an urban setting which is also now only a part of history. The bustling industrial activity implied in many of the views has increasingly become stilled as economic functions and locations have changed. Residential dispersion has also had its effect. The distinctive Philadelphia rowhouse architecture remains today, but some neighborhoods have all but disappeared, along with their vibrant small-scale commercial strips. It is not only the motorman winding up his K-controller and banging on his foot gong who has vanished forever.
Readers will note that several topics included in20 Colorful Years have been omitted here. We did not feel it possible in one book on this time period to cover both the city and suburban systems. The Red Arrow trolleys and the Philadelphia & Western have therefore not been included. Since the Broad Street Subway equipment was shown in the earlier book, it was not repeated. However, although always an independent operation, never a part of PTC or predecessor PRT, the Fairmount Park Transit is such a fondly remembered part of Philadelphia's past that it had to be included.
PCC Air Cars40
PCC All-Electrics54
Midwest Migrants60
Work Cars63
Market-Frankford Cars 70
The Park Trolley72

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