THE 900s (CONT'D)

  
925 * SCR 17 Jun 64 OG, poss. unrecorded sale.    949 * SCR 12 Jun 64 OG
926 {O} Last car on Freret Line, 1 Dec 46.  First one-man conversion, 1971.    950 SCR 9 May 64 WG
927 SCR 12 June 64 OG    951 {O}
928 SCR May 1964 OG suffered fire damage    952 {M} Last used 29 May 1964.  P in Sou. Ry. employees magazine Aug. 64.  SLD Tenn. Valley Ry. Hist. Soc. museum, Chattanooga, Tenn.  Re-SLD Chattanooga Choo Choo, where it operated until returned 1985.
{R} P - TP F-14 17 Dec. 89.  Used on Riverfront Line, see section on that line's equipment, p. aa.  952 is ok and running in San Francisco.
929 Retired 1961, SCR May 1964 OG    953 {O}
930 {O} 4/30/70 accident, broken pole knocks down trolley wire.  RB 10/70 so impressive, Frank Nettles said Carrollton Station has ability to build new cars.    954 {O}
931 * SCR 12 Jun 64 OG    955 SCR 9 May 61 OG
932 {O} Spectacular wreck 7 May 28, derailed & hit house at 1000 Broadway.  TP 8 Feb. 87 G-26 — on Freret Line.  One of two w/inside vent covers — see 920.    956 SCR 9 May 61 OG
933 {O}    957 {M} Last used 29 May 1964.  SLD Trinity Valley Museum near Weatherford, Texas.
{R} Returned Feb. 1986.  Used on Riverfront Line, see section on that line's equipment, p. aa.
934 {O}    958 * SCR 9 June 64 OG.  Last regular service for public on the Canal Line.
935 * SCR 9 June 64 OG    959 {M} Last used 29 May 1964.  SLD Tenn. Valley Ry. Hist. Soc. museum, Chattanooga, Tenn., Resold Chattanooga Choo Choo, RG & RB, still operating.
936 * SCR 15 June 64 OG.  Last car on West End Line 15 Jan. 50.    960 * SCR 9 June 64 OG
937 {O} First of 1990-91 RB.  All 35 cars finished July 1991, after defeat of RTA plan to replace all cars with “replicas”.    961 {O}
938 * SCR 12 June 64 OG    962 {O}
939 * SCR 17 June 64 OG    963 {O}
940 {O}    964 SCR 17 June 64 OG
941 SCR 15 June 64 OG    965 {O}
942 * SCR 12 June 64 OG    966 {M} Last used 30 May 1964.  SLD Chapel Farm, Birmingham, Ala.  Heavily vandalized.  Resold Seashore Museum at Kennebunkport, Maine.  Beautifully restored under supervision of Frederick J. Maloney.  Car RG - fully operational.  The only 900 with elec. fare register SLD to a museum.
943 * SCR 12 June 64 OG    967 * SCR 9 June 64 OG.  Next to last regular car on Canal.
944 Retired 1963, fire damage.  Sat on blocks on dead storage March 63 at Canal Station.  SCR May 64 OG.    968 {O}
945 {O}    969 {O}
946 SCR 12 June 64 OG    970 NOPSI experimented with 970, installed 4 motors.  Considered it a “1000 car”.  Poss. tried GE or WHSE platform control.  Collision with line car Aug. 1949, retired, boarded up Sept. 1950.  Slowly cut up starting Oct. 1950.  Moved to Napoleon Yard 1951, from there to the scrapyard.  SCR early 1952.
947 {O}    971 {O}
948 {O} Briefly experimented with lime green bus color.  No P [EWH says I have one; have not located it yet --HGF].    972 * {O} Absolutely the last 900 to operate on Canal Line.  972, a St. Charles car, ran the special run from Canal Station to St. Charles & Canal for “celebration”, then began another day's run on the St. Charles Line.  Early 31 May 1964, about 4:00 a.m.
Note:  The many changes in the Perley A. Thomas cars, especially the 900s, give historians a good idea how to assign a date that unidentified photographs require.  There are so many thousands of them.

Hurricane Katrina damaged the 2001-2024 new cars, and until they were finally repaired at great expense, 900s again served both Canal lines (Cemeteries and N. Carrollton to City Park), 2005-2009.

NOPSI_932-Magazine+friends-ArabellaSta-1947-06-10 For many years, most of the 900s were assigned to Arabella Station, which housed the Magazine, Freret, S. Claiborne, Napoleon, and Jackson lines.  Here we see car 932 and several other 900s in the storage yard behind Arabella Station awaiting the call to duty on June 10, 1947. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, George Friedman collection

NOPSI_914+friend-Magazine-AudubonPark-1947-06-10 Car 914 is approaching the end of track on side-of-the-road trackage of the Magazine line through Audubon Park, June 10, 1947. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, George Friedman collection

NOPSI_972-SClaiborne-1951-01-07 Car 972, last of the series, is working the S. Claiborne line on this trackage built along the edge of the neutral ground in this view from January 7, 1951. — George Friedman collection

NOPSI_925-SClaiborne-Canal+StCharles-1947-06-10 Car 925 is serving the S. Claiborne line as it stops to alight passengers on the Canal Street neutral ground at St. Charles Street, June 10, 1947.  The other streetcars visible in the distance are 800s; the one at the right is on the Desire or Gentilly line.  We have a glimpse of a White bus at the left, operating on the temporary Freret diesel bus line while trolley coach overhead is installed along that route. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, George Friedman collection

NOPSI_970-StClaude-Rampart+CanalSt-1947-06-10 Four-motor car 970 in rush hour service on the St. Claude line, June 10, 1947.  We see the car on N. Rampart Street at Canal, just after it has been pulled up to the stub track and its ends have been reversed.  The motorman is just pulling down what will be the front pole, as the conductor, unseen at the back of the car, is loading what looks like a large crowd waiting to board.  Another St. Claude car is behind the 970, and will commence loading as soon as 970 begins its downbound (outbound) trip.  Note the passenger shelter at the left, a unique feature on Canal Street, but a very handy one with the frequent rains found in New Orleans. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, George Friedman collection

NOPSI_934-Canal-Cemeteries In 1948, when Arabella was changed to an all-trolleybus station, and the rails were removed, the 900s were dispersed around the remaining system.  The 934 was assigned to Canal Station.  We see it here at the end of the Canal line, some time not long after the outer terminal of that line was established at the end of Canal Street on August 20, 1951. — George Friedman collection

NOPSI_951+969-CanalSt-1954-07-20 Over the years, the distinctive olive-green livery of the streetcars evolved somewhat.  This picture compares two versions as they appeared on July 20, 1954 on Canal Street.  Car 951 at the right, on the Canal line, displays the older livery, including silver car numbers and a silver stripe around the end dash panel.  Car 969, on the St. Charles line, appears to be fresh from the paint shop at Carrollton Station, the green car body seeming to be a brighter shade of green (due to weathering of the paint on 951).  The car number and the dash stripe are now cream, and the car number is slightly smaller.  Over the next few years, the dash stripe would be eliminated entirely.  Eventually, New Orleans RTA would restore the dash stripe and return to the larger size car numbers. —“Streetcar Mike” Strauch collection

NOPSI_924+960-Canal-1962 In 1962, about 18 months before the end of the Canal line, cars 924 and 960 are boxed in by Christmas traffic along Canal Street.  Car 960 was scrapped after the Canal line was discontinued, but 924 was sold for a second career in Atlanta, and eventually was returned to New Orleans for a third career as Riverfront car 450 (see page aa). — Louis Hennick photograph

NOPSI_948+949 Compare these two cars, photographed during the rebuilding program at the S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne terminal of the St. Charles line.  Car 949 at our left is as yet unmodified, while 948 at the right has been rebuilt with round-cornered upper window sash from stock bus parts, plus rounded windows in both the upper and lower door panels.  The lower panels on the doors were formerly solid wood, as shown by car 949.  Car 948 no longer sports a stripe around the end dash panel, but it now has cream end window posts. — George Friedman collection

NOPSI_922-Canal-foot-1963-04 Not all of the round-cornered window rebuilds used quite the same parts.  Compare this view of car 922 at the foot of Canal Street, taken in April 1963, to the next picture of car 926.  By the way, this car was an actor in the Marlon Brando movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”. — Mark Meyer collection

NOPSI_926-after_rebuild Here is an undated photo of car 926 on the St. Charles line.  Compared to the previous picture of car 922, the upper sashes and the windows in the doors have a larger expanse of glass in car 926. — Earl Hampton collection

NOPSI_947-StCharles-Carrollton Car 947 is serving the St. Charles line along Carrollton Avenue.  Like the cars in the previous pictures, it has been through the rebuilding program, including the installation of round-corner upper window sash and door panels, the use of smaller numerals for the car number, and elimination of the stripe around the end dash panel.  In addition, 947 has had a NOPSI logo added on the side of the car.  (NOPSI had never previously put its name or logo on the streetcars.)  These features would eventually be installed on all surviving 900s.  The car continues to be manned by a two-man crew, motorman and conductor.  The picture appears to date from the late 1960s, but not later than 1972, when the cars were converted for one-man operation. — George Friedman collection

NOPSI_922-2man+934-1man-1972 This 1972 photo shows the beginning of the one-man rebuild program.  Car 922, still in two-man configuration, is boarding passengers at the rear door, as has been done in New Orleans since the earliest times.  Car 934, in one-man configuration, is just arriving at the terminal at S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne.  The first step in this rebuild was the removal of all end-dash advertising from the cars.  Car 922 shows the result, a square of unweathered green paint on the dash.  As the cars were converted, an orange sign was added to the dash saying, “Board at front/exit at rear.”  But it took riders a while to get used to the new way of boarding at the front door. — Earl Hampton collection

THE SECOND 944

Earl W. Hampton, Jr. is more than a streetcar fan or buff.  Streetcar scientist might be more exact.  Through the RB programs of the 1960s and 1970s, he collected enough genuine parts replaced during the RB work to assemble a complete, working, and absolutely authentic platform of a 900, umbrella hood, floor, end posts, sign boxes, windows, doors, door engines, steps, fender, controls, brake valves — assembled and functioning (dash is Masonite, doors inoperable as of now).  This remarkable display is in place and functioning inside the Louisiana Children's Museum on Julia St.

LaChildrensMuseum Earl Hampton stands next to his 944 display in the Louisiana Children's Museum. — Earl Hampton collection

Text copyright © 2008, 2010, 2011 Louis C. Hennick.  Pictures copyright © 2010, 2011 by the persons credited.  Picture captions copyright © 2010, 2011 H. George Friedman, Jr.  All rights reserved.

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