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
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.