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the most popular tram in the world - PCC, part 2: Europe

Italy and Spain

The first company to produce the PCC system tram wagons in Europe was the well known automotive concern FIAT, which build two prototypes in 1942. First tram was deliverd to Turin and was given the #3001, the second one was delivered to Madrid in Spain. What is not commonly known is that FIAT never received an official licence to build the PCC based tram wagons due to World War II and the fact that Italy was the member of the Axis (along with Germany and Japan). Electric equipment to the two mentioned tram's was delivered by the GE company from Italy. Bogies of B-2 type were used in the prototypes. Unfortunatelly, during an american bombing on the 8th of November 1943 the first prototype #3001 was destroyed.

Protype tram wagon #3001.

Next bombing conducted on the 3rd of January 1944, destroyed the FIAT's factory in wchich a production of a total of 50 trams was lead for Mardird. After this, the production was moved to a temporary building and all of 50 trams were delivered to Madrid.

Fiat #1060 from production period from 1944 to 1946 on the streets of Madrid.

One of the orderd by Madrid trams was transported to Berlin instead of Madrid. This was done basing on a special order by one of a high-ranked German officers. The tram was given the 1010 number and as well as it's cousin from Turin was destroyed during a bombing in the last dayd of WWII. When the WWII ended the production of trams for Madrid was moved from Italy to Spain. A total numbr of 110 wagons were build in the years 1949-1960 basing on licence by Fiat. Fiat build only 20 trams in the years 1957-1958 for Rome. These were given the unpaired 8000 number series (#8001-8039). In the year 1958 Breda company produced three prototypes of PCC trams from used parts for Milan. These were given the 5400 number series and were in normal daily use until the year 1984. They were a twin construction of the 8000 series from Rome. In the year 1982 two of the Milan trams were given to support the rail transport of the Italy's capital city.

One of the two 5400 series trams from Milan. After a re-build the Milan trams were given numbers of 8041 and 8043.

Similarly to Fiat (having no licence to produce the trams) the Maquitrans company bould a total bumber of 110 trams for Barcelona. In the year 1961 used tram wagons biuld in 1945 by the St. Louis Car Co. were transported from USA to Barcelona.

One of the Washington's tram wagon #1646 in Barcelona.


It was the year 1937 when the City of Leeds expressed a great interest in the PCC tram wagons after it's mayor W. Vane Morland seen the trams in action in Boston, USA. In 1944 City of Liverpool issued to the public a report stating that 750 PCC tram wagons would be needed in the near future. After a succesfull purchase of the license for the PCC trams made by the Crompton-Parkinson company in 1945 only 39 trams were delivered to Blackpool city and only one for both Glasgow and Leeds. The "Vambac" wagons had a electric system basing on the one by Westinghause. They were also equiped in the HS-44 type bogies of english contruction, decpiste the fact that their manufacturer - Maley & Taunton had a full technical documentation of the B-2 type bogies bought directly from the Clark Equipment Co.

Belgium and France

In November 1946 Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi company (ACEC) acting as a agency of Westinghouse and a member of Electrorail Consortium made an order in St. Louis Car for three PCC trams. The first was to be delivered completely build, the other two were to be biuld in the Brugeoise et Nicaise et Delcuve works (BN) from the delivered parts. The first tram was delivered on the 30th of November 1947 and throughout the next five weeks only test drives were conducted. After equiping in the Clark B6 type bogies which were adapted to the 1000mm gauge, the tram was directed just in the beginning of the year 1948 to run a regular service on the suburban line SocieteNationale des Cheminsde Fervicinaux. The tram was also tested on the tracks of Brussels and Liege. In the year 1952 the tram was removed from regular service and finally in 1959 scrapped. In the beginning of the production not all of the tram parts were belgian buildt (for example bogies, electric motors, steering systems, brakes, not to mention the motorman chairs and direction cassettes), but most of them came from original PCC trams from Cansas City and Jonstown.

In Europe unlike as in the USA it was very poluar among the transport companies to join tram wagons to form a multi tram trains. This was due to the smaller width of the trams extorted by the smaller gauge and beside all this simply the fact of a larger amount of passengers. Multi tram trains required however more staff to operate these. This forced the engineers to design the first articulated tram. Constructed in La Brugeoise the "Eurotram" was presented in Brussels on the 23rd of Jult 1963. It was a two-segment tram based on two drive bogies and the third non-drive one under the articulation just between the two segments. This idea quickly interested other tram companies and soon their own prototypes of atriculated trams were introduced (Konstal 15N from 1963, Tatra K1 from 1964 and the LVS-66 from the year 1966). However in serial types of the mentioned protorypes a third drive bogie was mounted instead of the non-drive like in "Eurotram", which improved the weigh to drive power ratio. In the mid 1970's this idea evolved and a three-segment tram based on four drive bogies was introduced.

La Brugeiose (BN) works were the largest manufacturer of PCC trams in the Western Europe and produced a total numer of tram wagons for:
» Belgium:
The Tramways vicinaux (local narrow-gauge tram and rail lines),
Antwerp - 39 trams (1960/1961), 22 trams (1962), 40 trams (1966), 25 trams (1969/1970) 40 trams (1974/1975)

Antwerp. PCC BN from the last delivery produced in 1975.

Brussels - 7000 series (one-segment wagons): 50 trams (1951-1953), 30 trams (1956), 75 trams (1957/1958), 16 trams (1970/1971), 7700 series (atruculated, two-segment wagons): 127 trams (1971-1973), 7900 series (articulated, three segment wagons): 61 trams (1977-1978).

Brussels. 7700 series tram wagon from the year 1971.

Gent (two-way wagons) - 54 trams (1971-1974).

Gent. #3 PCC BN tram in Gent produced in 1971.

Gent. One of the last produced in 1974 PCC BN trams.

» Holland:
Hague - 2 trams (1949/1950), 22 trams (1952), 100 trams (1957/1958), 40 trams (1963), 40 trams (1971-1974), 30 trams (1974/1975).

Hague. PCC BN from the series of 40 trams bould in 1963.

» Yugoslavia:
Belgrad - 5 trams (1952)

» France:
Marseille - 21 trams (1952).


» Western Germany:
Hamburg - 1 tram (1951)

The only-build PCC tram for Western Germany.

According to a belgium documentation, the Ateliers de l'Est works in Strasbourg build a total amount of 30 PCC trams for a French city of Saint-Étienne.



The first PCC trams were delivered to Yugoslavia due to a order placed by Brugeoise et Nicaise et Delcuve (BN). In the year 1952 5 trams of were delivered to Belgrade (now the capital of Serbia). They were the Brussels 7000 series produced basing on the PCC license. Trams were given the number between 112 and 116 and were in daily use until around of year 1980. Bogies of B-6 type were used in these trams. All of them had a narrow gauge of 1000mm.

In early 1960's 24 trams were delivered to Belgrade from the transport network of NMVB/SNCV. They were given numbers between 117 and 140 and were in daily use untill the 1980's. One of these trams (ex. #131) was bought back and transported to Belgium. It is now used as a historic tram with 10409 number.

Brought from Belgium the PCC BN.

In the late 1950's transport company from Belgrade was given an offer from a businessman from Vienna, who offered used tram wagons from US tram networks being closed down at that time. The company had in mind especially trams from Washington, but this unfortunatelly was impossible due to the fact that in Belgrade a narrow-gauge tram tracks were used. A total number of 70 PCC trams from Washington were transported eventually to Sarajevo in the years of 1958-1961. The first official day of American trams in public service is dated on the 28th of November 1960. The PCC trams in Sarajevo throughout the years of their service in the city had been given a numerous number of modernizations. Some of them had been removed from regular service and some of them were used as a parts back-up. Roll collectors were removed and standard pantographs installed and even articulated trams were build from two standard ones. First such a construction had it's premiere on the city streets on the 29th of November 1964. A total number of 8 such trams were build. Used PCC tram wagons were in service untill the end of 1970's, when czechoslovak Tatra trams of T3 type (produced on the license of PCC) were bough by the city transportation company. Only one of the original PCC trams had been preserved (#71) and may be today seen as a historical tram in Sarajevo.

Ex-Washington PCC in Sarajevo.

One of the articulated PCC trams in Sarajevo.

Scandinavia and Western Germany

Only two of the planned 300 of the PCC A28 type trams had been delivered to Stockholm by the ASJ comapny in 1953. This was probably due to the withdrawal of the polish side of the contract in 1946, which primarily stated the delivery not only of the tram wagons, but also 8 locomotives and 44 electric passenger trains by the ASEA company. The only ones that were biuld, based on bogies and the electrical system delivered from the USA. They were the first in Europe PCC trams equiped in the multiple electrical steering system and were only used in pairs (no more trams of this type were constructed) on a turist line number 700. In the year 1962 buses started to be used on the turistic line and tram tracks were liquidated. Due to this the A28 type trams wagons were no longer needed. One of the two produced trams was scrapped, the other one (#11) was bough by tram fans just in time from the scrap-heap. After numerous localizations the tram can now be found in the Tramway Museum of Malmkoping.

A28 #11 w in the Tramway Museum Malmkoping.

The only PCC tram in the Western Germany was delivered from La Brugeoise to Hamburg in the year 1951. It was in normal use for only six years and after this period was sold to Brussels. But before this, the tram had a short servie period in Copenhagen, where it was used as a test wagon along with it's competitor - Duewag tram - before a large order for trams for this city. Unfortunatelly in Denmark as well as in other countries like the Western Germany or Austria local tram companies such as MAN, Lohner or Duewag (Twin constructions of the PCC) were polarized when choosing the trams supplier. It is worth stating here that although the mentioned tram manufacturers based their trams on the PCC model (especially from the technological perspective), their construction was different and not so advanced as the american PCC original. Decisions to buy the MAN, Lohner or Duewag trams were only made to support their own markets and not the american, regardless of the fact of the technological backwardness of these when compared to PCC.

Historical BN tram in Hamburg.

In the year 1995 this car returned to Hamburg, where it was used as a historical tram in the VVM Schönberger Strand museum. In 1999 the tram was sold to the danish tram museum of Skjoldenaesholm.

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