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Portland Vintage Trolleys

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No. 813

No.'s  800-814
J.G. Brill Co., Philadelphia
Two, Brill 77E
2 GE-210 (60 h.p., commutating poles)
Two, GE-K75
Westinghouse, self-lapping
40' 10" (some say 39' 10")
8' 6"
34,440 to 35,388 lbs.
cross type
originally narrow (42"), two cars later Standard (56")

Comments:   This series was the first new car order for Portland in nearly 20 years, and, ironically, also the last.  Cost for these streamlined Brill "Master Units," the immediate predecessors of the famous PCC cars (which Portland never got) was $12,177.52 apiece. They arrived in an unusual two-tone livery of French gray and ivory, with hunter green and black striping.  Portland Traction later repainted them in maroon and cream with scalloped dash board detailing and diamond number frames on the side.  Their nickname stems from the fact that they were assigned to the highly visible Broadway Line, which linked downtown's toniest shopping street with upscale Northeast suburbs.

Their bodies were of standard gauge dimensions, like most Master Units, but they were equipped with narrow gauge trucks for Portland operation.  After city operation ceased in 1950 two of these cars were converted to standard gauge for operation on the remaining interurban lines (details below).

Their wide bodies caused them to not be assigned to lines with tight curves, but after the Broadway Line was converted to bus operation in 1948 the Broadway cars did see service on other remaining lines, including Alberta, Mississippi Avenue, and 23rd. 

Retirement:  1950 = 801-812 & 814  1954 = 800  1958 = 813

Technical Notes: 

These cars were listed as one man/two man types.

No.'s 800 & 813 were modified for use on the standard gauge Oregon City and Bellrose Lines and renumbered 4014 and 4012.  Car No. 4012 (ex-813) was refitted with standard gauge trucks salvaged from Kuhlman "lightweight" car No. 4005, which had been retired after an accident, whereas No. 4014 (ex-800) received narrow gauge trucks with axles extended to standard gauge.   This experiment did not work for No. 4014, which was rough-riding and described as "too slow." By 1954 it had been taken out of service.  Sister 4012 remained in service until 1958, when all Portland streetcar lines ceased operation.

No. 4012 went to the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society's Trolley Park in Glenwood, Oregon, where it was eventually put back into service.  Since then it has been used on the OERHS' satellite Willamette Shore Line, which runs from Portland to Lake Oswego.  This popular car has been painted back into the original gray and cream livery and numbered back to 813. 


No. 811
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