Classic Vintage Trams

Tram, streetcar or trolley systems were common throughout the industrialized world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but they disappeared from many cities in the mid-20th century. In recent years, they have made a comeback. Many newer light rail systems share features with (or utilize) trams, although a distinction is often drawn between the two, especially if the line has significant off-street running.
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Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - The very last trolleys built by Philadelphia's once-great Brill Car Company were these ten suburban cars, completed in 1940.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - The very last trolleys built by Philadelphia's once-great Brill Car Company were these ten suburban cars, completed in

Pacific Electric no. 1260 working the Santa Monica Air Line

Pacific Electric no. 1260 working the Santa Monica Air Line

A convoy of trams in Bendigo in 1970

A convoy of trams in Bendigo in 1970

Rio de Janeiro's Santa Teresa Tram

Rio de Janeiro's Santa Teresa Tram

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - The last traditional (hand-controlled) streetcars in service in the Philadelphia area were these Brill "Master Unit" suburban cars built in 1932-33. They were capable of seventy miles per hour, and lasted into the early 1980's.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - The last traditional (hand-controlled) streetcars in service in the Philadelphia area were these Brill "Master Unit" suburban cars built in 1932-33. They were capable of seventy miles per hour, and lasted into the early 1980's.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - The last traditional (hand-controlled) streetcars in service in the Philadelphia area were these Brill "Master Unit" suburban cars built in 1932-33. They were capable of seventy miles per hour, and lasted into the early 1980's.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - The last traditional (hand-controlled) streetcars in service in the Philadelphia area were these Brill "Master Unit" suburban cars built in 1932-33. They were capable of seventy miles per hour, and lasted into the early 1980's.

Bendigo tram

Bendigo tram

Trams 5 and 25 at Charing Cross in Bendigo 07 02 1972

Trams 5 and 25 at Charing Cross in Bendigo 07 02 1972

Los Angeles Ry. Magnetic Track Brake Car - The Los Angeles Railway's fleet of MAGGIEs worked the hilly I line for several decades. Unlike the majority of LARY's car fleet that used air brakes, the MAGIEs used an electric magnetic brake located between the wheels on the standard LARY archbar truck, not unlike the magnetic brake on the more modern PCC truck.

Los Angeles Ry. Magnetic Track Brake Car - The Los Angeles Railway's fleet of MAGGIEs worked the hilly I line for several decades. Unlike the majority of LARY's car fleet that used air brakes, the MAGIEs used an electric magnetic brake located between the wheels on the standard LARY archbar truck, not unlike the magnetic brake on the more modern PCC truck.

Los Angeles Railway no. 3007

Los Angeles Railway no. 3007

Los Angeles Railway no. 67 photographed at Central and Slauson, Los Angeles, May 20, 1947

Los Angeles Railway no. 67 photographed at Central and Slauson, Los Angeles, May 20, 1947

1950 Los Angeles Streetcars

1950 Los Angeles Streetcars

Ust-Ilimsk tram Siberia

Ust-Ilimsk tram Siberia

Kirnitzschtal Tramway. The line opened in 1898 and runs through the Kirnitzsch river valley in Saxon Switzerland (an area of Germany close to the border with the Czech Republic), from the town of Bad Schandau up to the Lichtenhain Waterfall. The historic tramcars from 1966 serve the starting points of many walks in the area.

Kirnitzschtal Tramway. The line opened in 1898 and runs through the Kirnitzsch river valley in Saxon Switzerland (an area of Germany close to the border with the Czech Republic), from the town of Bad Schandau up to the Lichtenhain Waterfall. The historic tramcars from 1966 serve the starting points of many walks in the area.

Streetcar, Richmond Va. USA

Learn how to be an image detective and search for clues about transportation in Virginia in primary source photographs.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - In marked contrast to modern trolleys like the Brilliners and Master Units described above, the Brill "Center Door" car seen here was typical of suburban trolleys built around 1920. These tended to be large, heavy, double-end cars, with passengers entering and exiting via doors located at the center of the car. When this car was ordered in 1926, its design was already "conservative" to put it mildly.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company Red Arrow Line - In marked contrast to modern trolleys like the Brilliners and Master Units described above, the Brill "Center Door" car seen here was typical of suburban trolleys built around 1920. These tended to be large, heavy, double-end cars, with passengers entering and exiting via doors located at the center of the car. When this car was ordered in 1926, its design was already "conservative" to put it mildly.

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