PCC Cars, Past and Present
In the late 1920's many of the country's electric railways found themselves with aging equipment rosters and plummeting ridership. The old streetcars with their coal stoves, poor lighting and hard rattan seats were no competition for the personal automobile and its door-to-door convenience. Management from the larger lines formed a group to come up with a faster, sleeker, universal streetcar design that would bring riders back while keeping maintenance costs down. In 1929, the Electric Railway Presidents' Conference Committee was formed to address this issue. The resulting car design would later become known as the 'PCC' car. The cars were manufactured by several of the major car makers of the time and some of the basic patents for motor controls and power trucks are still in use today on streetcars and light rail vehicles built around the world.