Boston’s Time Machine. Step back 30, 40, 50 years!

In recent years I’ve been making annual visits to MBTA’s Mattapan-Ashmont Red Line extension. This quaint relic of urban transit is a throw-back to another time.

Thanks to the wisdom and historically minded MBTA, this continues to host restored PCC cars wearing classic period paint. (today, we might call it ‘heritage paint’ but I don’t know that I approve of that term).

Back in June 1978, I visited this line with my father and exposed my first roll of Kodachrome 25 (prior to that I usually used K64 or Ektachrome).

Twenty years earlier, my father had made his first visit to the line. The cars then were double-end former Dallas PCCs, but painted nearly the same as those featured here.

Capen Street in May 2015. Streetcars like this one have been prowling Boston's streets for more than 70 years. Lumix LX7 photo.
Capen Street in May 2015. Streetcars like this one have been prowling Boston’s streets for more than 70 years. Lumix LX7 photo.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.

The other day, Pat Yough and I spent an overcast afternoon photographing the antique PCCs. These are great vehicles to travel in and make for intriguing subjects. For me it brought back memories of living near MBTA’s Riverside Line in the early 1970s when PCCs were still the rule on that route.

PCC seen from a PCC. Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with Carl Zeiss f1.8 32mm lens.
PCC seen from a PCC. Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with Carl Zeiss f1.8 32mm lens.

If you haven’t seen it, John Gruber and I authored a compact book titled Streetcars of America published by Shire that features on the cover a freshly painted former Dallas PCC near Cleveland Circle.

This is also available through Amazon.

Lumix LX7 Photo of MBTA map.
Lumix LX7 Photo of MBTA map.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens at Capen Street near Mattapan.
Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens at Capen Street near Mattapan.
PCCs pass at Central Avenue, Milton. Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
PCCs pass at Central Avenue, Milton. Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
Cedar Grove. Lumix LX7 photo.
Cedar Grove. Lumix LX7 photo.
Mattapan loop. Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
Mattapan loop. Exposed with a Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

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