The Many Faces of PCC 2168

Philadelphia Transportation Co. 2168 is seen working southbound along Route 47 on 6th Street in June 1967 (Jim Golhopher photo).

Today she’s a gleaming museum exhibit in Baltimore, resplendent in a beautiful recreation of SEPTA’s 1970s “Gulf Oil” paint scheme. But Philadelphia PCC car 2168 has had a long and colorful history — and more than one distinctive livery over the years.

Step aboard for a photographic trip through time on one of our favorite machines:

Less than a decade old, 2168 is seen at 17th & Lehigh, on Route 21 in 1956. This is the oldest photo we have seen of the car so far (ECTM collection).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the banana car! 2168 is seen at Luzerne in March 1973, fresh from Courtland Shops in the short-lived yellow livery (Harry Donahue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We know not everyone loves the GOH scheme (though some of us do!) but we would be remiss if we didn’t show you a photo of 2168 wearing it. Harry Donahue captured the car northbound at 11th and Market in April 1987.

Yet another paint scheme! Here is Harry Donahue with the car in May 1995 when SEPTA’s Welcome Line service debuted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Welcome Line paint scheme didn’t take long to fade, unfortunately. Here we see Matt Nawn with the car at Elmwood on the occasion of a 50th anniversary charter in July 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten years later, a much different scene. Here is 2168 at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum during Crab Fest in July 2008. The exterior restoration had only just begun, but this marked the car’s first operation at BSM after re-gauging (Harry Donahue).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is 2168 as we know her today. Donations from FPT members, together with the time and expertise, have transformed the car into a gorgeous museum piece that will help tell the story of Philadelphia trolleys for generations to come (Roger DuPuis).

FPT’s latest newsletter is here!

The Summer 2017 issue of The Streamliner has arrived! Features include:

  • Restoration of PTC 8042 to begin
  • Philly trolleys in the news
  • Pennsylvania Trolley Museum fair report
  • Remembering the Red Arrow ’80 cars’
  • SEPTA 2168 returns to service at BSM
  • Update on the Liberty Liner

Click here to download.

PCC 2168 returns to service at BSM

Mike Barron, left, and Mike Lawson pose with SEPTA 2168 after completing repairs on the car at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. (Matt Nawn photo.)

After being sidelined for several weeks due to concerns with the performance of the braking system, SEPTA 2168 — the car that “started it all” for FPT — has been repaired and returned to operating condition at its home at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum.

After several tedious work days, Mike Lawson, Mike Barron, and Matt Nawn spent Sept. 3 cleaning and adjusting the shaft brake mechanisms to ensure proper operation. The hard work paid off as the car successfully passed its braking tests late in the day, enabling the car to return to active status; including for operation during BSM’s Members Day on Sept. 16.

An interesting fact: Mike, Mike, and Matt are all mechanical engineers who also enjoy working on vintage trolley cars.