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Dallas - August 2004

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Dallas — New Trolley for McKinney

Rail Transit Online, August 2004

The McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA) made a ceremonial first run with its newest piece of rolling stock on June 29, a heavily-modified PCC obtained two years ago from the Tandy subway in Fort Worth after it shut down.  There was an unofficial christening by MATA member Phil Cobb, who broke a bottle of champagne over the front end.  Nicknamed “Winnie” for its boxy body that resembles an oversize Winnebago motor home, the car was obtained for $3,600.  MATA spent another $16,000, and volunteers worked for 13 months, to restore the PCC, numbered 143, which was delivered to Washington, D.C. in 1947 with a traditional art deco body.  Over the years, the car was heavily modified, including the substitution of a utilitarian, squared-off body for the original coachwork.  MATA workers installed new wiring, replaced the modern interior fluorescent lights with original bullet fixtures, installed a single headlight in place of the two automotive lights Tandy had put in and painted the exterior red and cream.  Winnie is MATA’s only air conditioned trolley, which will be a boon to riders during the often brutal Texas summers.  MATA Chief Operating Officer John Landrum said the car should be in revenue service on the M Line by the end of July after a few mechanical problems are corrected and minor cosmetic enhancements completed. 

In addition to purchasing Winnie, MATA also bought two sets of standard gauge PCC trucks from Tandy and put them under the two 1951 Toronto PCCs that the authority purchased in 1996.  The cars, which are in excellent mechanical condition following extensive rebuilding by the TTC shortly before they were removed from service, were stored outdoors at DART’s LRT yard while awaiting re-gauging.  DART had promised to perform that task but, for various reasons, it was delayed.  In addition to placing the cars on new trucks, MATA had the PCCs painted, then moved into covered storage.  Since the cars are single-ended, they cannot be used on the McKinney Avenue line until an extension is built to the south or to the West End with a reversing loop.


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