Earl W. Hampton, Jr.
H. George Friedman, Jr.

Last updated November 29, 2020 (added Picture 6.1)
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In 1906, the New Orleans Railway and Light Company took delivery of 25 Brill semi-convertible streetcars from the Brill subsidiary American Car Co. of St. Louis.  The cars were numbered 300-324, and saw initial service on the Coliseum line.  Later they were operated on other uptown lines, such as Louisiana.  In 1917, they were rebuilt and renumbered, becoming numbers 450-474, and losing their original concave-convex sides, with their upper window sashes being fixed in place.  In the early 1930s, about half of the group was relocated to Canal Station and assigned to serve the City Park line.  The cars were retired and scrapped in 1935, except for car 453, which was retained at Canal Station and later at Napoleon Yard as a training car.  This article is primarily about car 453 and its adventures since its class was retired.

In all the pictures in this article, click on the picture for an enlargement.
Pictures 1 and 1.5.
Brill Co. builder's photos of the exterior and interior of car 311.  The clerestory glass (interior photo) carries the route name Coliseum.  At this time, Coliseum cars ran along upper Magazine Street, through Audubon Park, and out Broadway, ultimately wandering all the way to the Protection Levee at Southport.  This earned it the nickname “Snake Route”.Brill Magazine, v. III no. 8, August 15, 1909
Picture 2.
The first car of the Brill semi-convertible class, car 300, is heading down St. Charles Street on the Coliseum line as a two-horse team passes.  A Ford, Bacon & Davis (FB&D) single truck car is approaching upbound from Canal Street on the Clio, Carondelet, or Dryades line.  Behind car 300, this view, postmarked 1914, features the then-new Whitney Bank Building. — New Orleans News
Picture 2.5.
Car 306 has just come down St. Charles Street, probably on the Coliseum line, and is turning into the inner track on Canal Street, heading for the loop at the foot of Canal, near the Mississippi River. — Acmegraph Co.
Picture 3.
A Brill semiconvertible car has just passed Carondelet Street on Canal Street, riverbound on the outer track.  Note the Herr fender folded up behind the rear platform; this type of fender was used for a while on New Orleans streetcars.  This picture looks toward the downtown side of Canal Street from Carondelet.

After the 1935 retirement of the Brill semi-convertible cars, car 453 was retained at Canal Station until about 1940.  Then it was moved to Napoleon Service and Material Yard for use as an instruction car.  Since 1915, Napoleon Yard, located at the foot of Napoleon Avenue at Tchoupitoulas Street, had been the chief material yard for the streetcar system.  In the last few months of the Napoleon streetcar line, which was converted to buses Feb. 18, 1953, cars for that line were stored at Napoleon Yard.  After abandonment of the Napoleon line, there was no rail connection between Napoleon Yard and the rest of the streetcar system, and apparently the trolley wire was removed within the yard.

At first, car 453 was able to operate around Napoleon Yard under its own power for motorman training.  (Bus driver training was also conducted at Napoleon Yard.)  But some time around 1948, the car was put up on blocks.  NORTA retired Director of Maintenance Elmer Von Dullen recalls as a child playing around the car, up on blocks, at Napoleon Yard.  It was still a fully functional streetcar — the wheels even turned when the controller was notched up — but the car no longer had anywhere to go, even for training purposes.  Author Hampton talked to motormen in the late 1960s who remembered training on 453.

Pictures 4 and 4.5.
Car 453 sunning itself at Canal Station around 1940, before its move to Napoleon Yard.  We have a good view of the doors installed at the car's last rebuild, folding doors similar to those on the Perley Thomas cars.  (Compare to the doors seen in Picture 1.)  In the upper picture, the car is signed St. Charles, and in the lower Special with a destination of City Park, but the signs are meaningless. — Collections of Louis Hennick (upper) and of author Friedman (lower)
Pictures 5 and 5.1.
Car 453 outfitted as a training car, at Napolean Yard, signed for the City Park line (above) and the Freret line (below).  Note the switches under the front bumper, which the instructor could use to simulate various problems with the car.  The three closest to the camera are marked “R. 3 OPEN”, “R. 2 OPEN”, and “R. 1 OPEN”, with “ON” and “OFF” just below.  The center switch is marked “OPEN MOT. NO. 2”.  The next two are “FLD. MOT. NO. 2” and “GRD. MOT. NO. 2[?]” (probably “FIELD MOTOR” and “GROUND MOTOR”).  There are two more switches, but their labels cannot be read in these pictures.
Pictures 5.5 and 5.6.
Car 453 inside the car barn at Napoleon Yard.  We can see the switches on the front bumper (see Pictures 5 and 5.1 for a better view).  Note that the front trolley pole is missing; it seems to have been replaced by a wire, which may be what is actually powering the car at this time.  Even more significant is the clear sight of the wooden blocks under the front and back ends of the car.  The car wheels appear to be just a few inches above the track — or the floor.  (Is there track under there?)  And there is a wire leading from the nearer truck into the floor.  This might be the ground return for the car power; the usual ground return through the trucks and wheels to the track won't work since the wheels are not in contact with a track.  Note how the car has been fitted with folding doors and steps in one of its rebuildings (compare the doors and steps in Picture 1).  These doors are in the style of the doors on the 800-900 class cars, but with narrower panels.  In the lower photo, the woman in the window is named Gracie, but that's all we know about her. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri (upper)
Pictures 6 and 6.1.
Car 453 inside the car barn at Napoleon Yard.  We are looking at the opposite end of the car, compared to Pictures 5 through 5.6.  It is not as clear as in those Pictures, but the car is up on blocks and has no trolley pole at the other end.  The second picture is dated August 21, 1964, very late in the career of this car as a training car.
Picture 6.2.
The interior of car 453 inside the building at Napoleon Yard.  The longitudinal seats at the near end of the car are missing, as are the fare registers that should be mounted on the upper bulkhead at the far end of the car.  Where the left-hand register should be, we can see the levers that would operate the register if the register were properly mounted in front of them.  Compare Picture 18, which shows the car interior while it was on display in the French Market.

Some time around 1960, an idea sprang up to use car 453 to promote the movie “A Streetcar Named Desire,” which had been filmed in New Orleans in 1951.  The car was to be loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken around the country to promote Louisiana tourism in general and the movie in particular.  By this time, NOPSI seems to have considered car 453 to be something of a liability.  It was no longer used for motorman training, yet simply scrapping the antique car would be controversial.  In the alternative, NOPSI spent a lot of money to “renovate” car 453.  About 1965, it was moved to Carrollton Station, where all major repairs and renovations of streetcars were performed, and taken into the shops.  The motors, resistors, air compressor, brake rigging, and other important components were removed to make the car lighter and easier to move around by truck.  The electrical system was rewired for 110 volts.  No one can really say why this promotional plan fell through, but it never did materialize.  NOPSI was thus stuck with a shell of an antique streetcar, beautiful but useless.  The car was then covered with plastic and stored at Carrollton Station.

It is somewhat ironic that, because of these events, this particular car has come to symbolize the Streetcar Named Desire of the famous Tennessee Williams play and movie.  Actually, the streetcars which were assigned to the famous Desire streetcar line during the 1940s, and probably as far back as the mid-1920s, were the arch roof Perley Thomas 800 class cars.  The Streetcar Named Desire that is seen in the Vivien Leigh - Marlon Brando movie is car 922, which is almost identical to the 800s.  There is no evidence that the Brill semi-convertibles of 453's class were ever used on the Desire line.  Incidentally, in the play and the movie, Tennessee Williams got the travel directions backwards, presumably a bit of artistic license.  Blanche says that she has been told to take a Desire streetcar and transfer to one marked Cemeteries, and in the movie, a Desire streetcar promptly comes around the loop at the foot of Canal Street, and she boards.  In real life, Desire cars never ran to this loop.  The correct travel directions would have been to take a Cemeteries car and transfer to one named Desire!  But dramatically, it sounds better the way Williams wrote it.

Picture 6.3.
Car 453 in the process of “renovation” (which included stripping out much of the equipment it needed to run as a streetcar) in the Carrollton Shops of New Orleans Public Service Inc. — New Orleans States-Item, December 17, 1965
Pictures 6.5 through 6.8.
In the top picture, we see car 453 loaded onto a flatbed truck for the movement from Carrollton Station to the French Market.  In the second picture, it has arrived at the French Market and been unloaded from the truck onto makeshift rails.  The third picture looks at the car from within the space into which it is being moved.  The rails were laid in front of the car, and it was then maneuvered forward until it was in the desired position, as seen in the bottom picture.  Notice that the car made the trip without its trolley poles. — Otto Goessl
Picture 7.
The cast of a New Orleans Repertory Theater 1970 production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” pose with car 453.  Director June Havoc is in front of the car, while members of the production are seen in the front windows.  Elaine Kerr, third from left, now known as E. Katherine Kerr, played Blanche DuBois.  Others in the cast included Sandra Seacat as Stella Kowalski, Ben Piazza as Stanley Kowalski, Michael Ebert as "Mitch" Mitchell, De Houn Lieteau, Lee Roy Giles, Paul Rosefeldt, Sylvia Williams, Frank Root, Jan Buttram, and Timothy Meyers.  However, the other people in the picture have not been identified.  Miss Havoc, sister of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, directed the theater for two seasons in 1970 and 1971.  She died March 28, 2010, aged 97. — Louisiana Tourist and Development Commission
Picture 8.
Another fake streetcar named Desire.  This picture seems to show Perley Thomas car 904 as it lays over at the end of the Desire streetcar line, on France Street near Tonti Street.  This car is similar to the type of streetcar used on the Desire line for almost its entire life.  The Desire line looped through this neighborhood on single track; there was double track such as seen here on France St. just below Tonti to allow for switching cars at the terminal.  But note the above-ground tombs in the cemetery behind the streetcar.  There is no such cemetery anywhere near France and Tonti!  This must be a posed picture.  It seems to have actually been taken at the pre-1950 end of the Cemeteries line on West End Blvd. just off City Park Ave., with the car's roll sign changed to show Desire.  The picture is dated March 18, 1949.  The last Desire streetcar ran May 30, 1948. — Collection of John F. Bromley, used with permission.
Picture 9.
This picture, taken June 10, 1947, features Brill-built real Desire car 885 on Royal Street, about to enter Canal Street.  The car will follow the track in the foreground, turning into the outer lakebound track, and will proceed one block to Bourbon Street.  Royal Street is flanked by the Royal Jewelry on the left and National Shirt Shops on the right.  The panel delivery truck in the right foreground is a 1936 Willys.  The smoke cloud suggests that its engine must have been near its end.
Picture 10.
The REAL “Streetcar Named Desire”.  This is the actual streetcar that appeared in the movie.  At this point in its life, it was operated on the St. Charles streetcar line, and no longer had a DESIRE selection on its roll sign, so author Hampton made one for this picture.  That's Louisiana Tourist Development Commission “motorman” Byron Pulley in the suit near the headlight of car 922 at Carrollton Station. — Photo by author Hampton

In 1967, NOPSI arranged to place car 453 “permanently” in the French Market complex, under shelter behind the Morning Call coffeehouse, where it became a satellite office of the Louisiana Tourist Development Commission.  This body provided a state worker, dressed like a motorman, who talked to tourists, telling them about the streetcar itself and promoting the great streetcar ride on St. Charles and other great tourist attractions of New Orleans.  About this time, author Hampton discovered car 453, and began volunteer work with it, cleaning it and doing minor maintenance.  He found a forgotten switch under the seats which controlled a 110 volt air compressor which had been mounted in a hidden place under the car.  This could build up enough air pressure to open and close the doors on the car, making its “operation” somewhat more authentic.

The car remained in this spot from 1967 to 1973.  By the early 1970s, the French Market had fallen into terrible disrepair.  Plans were made to renovate the Market and change its ambiance, bringing it back to a 1920s and 30s look and feel.  Unfortunately, the Desire car was not a revenue generator, so it was left out of the Market renovation plans.  Instead, it was literally dragged out from under the shelter and brought to the end of the Market, known as the flea market area.  Now this beautiful shell of a streetcar was exposed to the elements and to break-ins, with no protection from sun, rain, or mankind.  For some reason, its trolley poles were removed at this time.  The Tourist Commission no longer provided anyone to “talk up” the car for visitors, nor any money for its maintenance.  For years, Hampton tried to keep the car at least cosmetically decent, but it was more of a task than he could handle alone, with no financial support from the state.  He made dummy DESIRE and SPECIAL route signs to save the real ones from the weather.  At first, the dummy signs were simply displayed in front of the originals, but when some articles had been stolen from the car (one of the signal bells, for example), Hampton removed the real roll signs, turning them in to the Louisiana State Museum (Cabildo).  Despite these precautions, the original signs eventually disappeared from the Cabildo.  If someone reading this has seen those signs, please return them for use again on car 453.

Eventually, 453 was given to the Old Mint on Esplanade, and a crane lifted the shabby car across Barracks Street into the yard behind the Mint building.  The state spent some money to cover the roof with some sort of fiberglass coating and gave the car a paint job.

Picture 11.
A younger edition of author Hampton poses as motorman of car 453, showing a Napoleon route sign and Shrewesbury destination sign, just as the car might have done until the 1934 bussing of the Jefferson parish trackage to Shrewesbury.  We see part of the original route and destination sign rolls, which are currently missing from the Louisiana State Museum.
Picture 12.
Car 453 in the shelter of the Morning Call coffee stand in the French Market.  Note the sign “Streetcar Named Desire”. — Photo by author Hampton
Pictures 13, 13.5, 14, 15, and 16.
Car 453 under shelter in the French Quarter.  The first two photos show opposite ends of the car.  The “motormen” are employees of the Louisiana State Museum: the man in the fourth picture is Byron Pulley, and the fifth picture shows a Jim whose last name the authors do not know.  The roll signs seen here are the originals. — Top four photos by author Hampton, bottom photo by Louisiana Tourist Development Commission

Note the bronze plaque mounted on the dash of car 453.  The inscription reads:

Pictures 17 and 18.
The interior of car 453, under the care of the “motorman”.  In the upper view, Motorman Jim has his right hand on the conductor's stand, his left on the motorman's controller.  Above his right shoulder is the handle of the bell cord used by the conductor to signal the motorman when it is clear to move the car, or when it is necessary to stop the car.  The lower view, featuring Motorman Byron Pulley, gives a good look at the interior of the car.  Note the “squeezed” look typical of the interior upper parts of a Brill semi-convertible; this is caused by the pockets into which the window sash originally lifted.  We can also see that there are two fare registers on the vestibule partition, above the door.  One was used to register cash fares, the other to count “other” kinds of fares, such as transfers.
Picture 19.
One of the fare registers, the left one, used to count cash fares.  This machine was typical of fare registers in the streetcar industry.  Each rider handed a fare to the conductor, who gave change if necessary and pulled a cord that rang a bell and advanced the two counters on the register.  The bell was supposed to let the rider know that his fare had been counted, and not pocketed by an unscrupulous conductor.  The counter at the bottom of the register gave a continuous count that was never reset to zero.  The conductor would record the count at the beginning and end of his work day, and was required to turn in the amount of money calculated from that count.  At each end of the line, the conductor would record the count at the left and then turn a knob which would reset that counter, thus recording the fares received over a “half trip.”  Also, each time the knob was turned, the indicator at the right changed from “IN” to “OUT” or vice versa, meaning inbound or outbound on the route.  If it wanted to, the company could analyze riding variations over the day from these data. — Photo by author Hampton
Pictures 20 and 21.
The motorman's controls at one of end of car 453.  There is an identical set of controls at the other end, so that in service, the car never needed to be turned around.  To reverse direction, the conductor and motorman simply exchanged positions, changed trolley poles (the working trolley pole is always the one trailing the car), reversed the passenger seats, and the car was ready to go.  The upper picture gives a view of the motorman's controller, at the left, and the air brake handle, at the right.  Note the adjustable stool, which was all the motorman and the conductor had to sit on for most of the day.  The lower picture gives a good view of the controller.  Rotating the handle clockwise speeds up the car, counter-clockwise shuts off the current.  It is seen in the position for maximum speed.  In actual service, there is one item missing: in the lower picture, there would be a removable handle attached to the stud at the lower right.  This handle could select three positions: forward, neutral, and reverse, so it was referred to as the reversing lever or simply as the key.  The key can be removed only in the neutral position, and in that position, the controller handle cannot be moved out of the shut-off position.  A motorman moving away from his post is well advised to remove the key and take it with him, so that no one else can start the car in his absence. — Photos by author Hampton
Picture 22.
This hat badge was made up for use by the Louisiana State Museum's “motorman”.  It is in a style used widely in the transit industry in the time period of the Brill semi-convertibles.  The company name shown was the proper name of the New Orleans streetcar company from 1905 to 1922.
Picture 23.
The cover of the brochure the Tourist Commission used to publicize the Streetcar Named Desire. — Louisiana Tourist Development Commission
Picture 23.5.
This is a Mardi Gras doubloon, struck in 1967 to advertise car 453 as the Streetcar Named Desire.  Around the rim of the obverse is lettered “Louisiana Tourist Development Commission”, and below the picture of car 453, it says “The streetcar / named Desire / New Orleans / 1967”.  On the reverse are the words “Where in the world such vacation variety? / Louisiana! That's where”.  The token is 1.5 inches (38 mm) in diameter.  Mardi Gras doubloons are thrown by the handful from the floats in Mardi Gras parades, along with beads and other trinkets, to the people lining the streets.  “Throw me something, Mister!”
Pictures 24, 25, and 26.
Again shorn of its trolley poles, car 453 is moved from its sheltered location at the Morning Call Coffee Stand out into the weather at the flea market end of the French Market. — Photos by author Hampton
Picture 26.5.
A flea market customer stops to read the plaque on the dash of car 453 in February 1974, not very long after the car was installed at this spot.  The lines in the pavement in front of the car record how it was dragged here without the benefit of any kind of tracks under its wheels.  The visible route sign is the replacement created by author Hampton to protect the original, which is barely seen at the edges of the replacement sign.  A flea market seller is plying his trade at the side of the old streetcar. — Collection of Michael “Streetcar Mike” Strauch
Pictures 27, 28, 28.5, 29, and 29.5.
Car 453 at the French Market after it was dragged out of the shelter and placed in the flea market area, and before it was lifted over the fence into the Mint yard.  There are bars on the doors and bondo patches on the sides of the car, which represent a vain effort to preserve it.  In the background of the second and third pictures, we can see a bit of the flea market activity.  The third picture was taken April 27, 1975, and the last picture in June 1978. — First, second, and fourth photos by author Hampton
Pictures 30, 31, 32, and 33.
Photographer Jim Schantz documented the gradual deterioration of car 453 as it stood in the elements at the flea market end of the French Market.  The top picture of this set was taken in 1973, right after the car was installed at this spot.  Note the gleaming paint job.  The next picture was taken a mere two years later; the varnish has worn off, and the paint looks quite dull.  The last two pictures were taken in 1978.  The paint is worn and patchy, and both wood and metal parts are showing deterioration (bottom picture). — Photos by Jim Schantz
Pictures 33.5 and 33.7.
From time to time, the newspapers noticed the neglected car.  The upper photo accompanied a January 15, 1974 Times Picayune article soliciting ideas for its preservation in some new home.  The second photo caught it on a typical New Orleans rainy day in November 1975, reflected in the puddle next to it.  The caption recorded a promise from unnamed officials to move it to “a museum collection”, unspecified, with no timetable mentioned.  In fact, the deteriorating car would languish in this spot for several more years.Times Picayune (first picture), AP Wirephoto (second picture)
Pictures 34, 35, 36, and 37.
Car 453 gets moved again!  The crane picked up the entire car, trucks dangling below its body, and lifted it across the street and over the wrought iron fence bounding the Old Mint property.  The rust on the dash is very clear to see in the third and fourth pictures.  The metal plaque on the dash at one end of the car is still visible in the two top pictures. — Photos by author Hampton
Picture 37.5.
Painting in progress on car 453 as it stands in the Old Mint yard.  The dash plaque seems to have disappeared about this time. — Photo by author Hampton
Picture 38.
Car 453 in the yard of the Old Mint.  Barracks Street is in the foreground. — Photo by author Hampton
Pictures 39 through 44.
Car 453 in the yard next to the Old Mint after getting a much needed coat of paint.  The car number and some other details were never applied after this paint job.  In the later pictures here, the paint is again showing bad weathering, and some rust streaks are showing again on the dash. — Thurston Moore Country, Ltd. (top), author Hampton (second), Jim Schantz (third picture, 1984), author Friedman (last three pictures, July 1990)

In 1988, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) created an entirely new streetcar line, the first one in New Orleans since 1926.  The new Riverfront line used a standard-gauge railroad track along the Mississippi River levee, running from Esplanade Avenue, along the edge of the French Quarter, across Canal Street, and uptown past Poydras Street.  Two kinds of cars were provided for the new line: several retired Perley Thomas cars were repurchased from museums and private collectors and refurbished, and three cars from Melbourne, Australia.  The Melbourne cars had the advantage that they were wheelchair accessible.  The two types of cars were numbered together in the 450-series once borne by the Brill semi-convertible cars, numbers 450, 451, and 456 being Perley Thomas cars, and numbers 452, 454, and 455 being the Melbourne cars.  In recognition of the survival of car 453, its number was not assigned to a Riverfront car, implying the possibility that the old 453 might be restored and become one of the cars for the Riverfront line.  But nothing in this direction was ever done.

Pictures 45 and 46.
Some of the “other” 450-series cars.  In the upper picture, Perley Thomas car 456 (originally 952) and ex-Melbourne car 454 pass along the Riverfront line in July 1990.  In the lower picture, car 459 loads passengers at the French market terminal, at Esplanade Ave., on March 20, 2005.  Cars 457-463 were built at Carrollton Station Shops in the late 1990s to re-equip the Riverfront line when it was converted from standard gauge to wide gauge, while cars 450-456 were withdrawn from service at that time. — Photos by author Friedman
Picture 46.5.
The original Riverfront Perley Thomas cars 450 (originally 924) and 451 (originally 919) are stored at Carrollton Station.  Car 456 was restored by NORTA with its original number, 952, and is on long-term loan to San Francisco, where it sees regular operation as part of the Municipal Railway Historical Collection.  This picture shows car 952 in San Francisco on Market Street, operating on the F-Market line, destination the Balboa Park car barn.  Milan, Italy car 1556 is in the background. — © 2001 Peter Ehrlich, used with permission
Pictures 47, 48, and 49.
The NORTA Melbourne cars 452, 454, and 455 (originally Melbourne numbers 626, 478, and 331, respectively) were sold to the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) and restored by Gomaco Trolley Company before entering service in Memphis using their New Orleans numbers.  The two top pictures of this group show refurbished streetcars 454 and 455 in their Memphis livery about to be shipped from the Gomaco factory in November and December 2003.  They have not yet been equipped with pantographs, which the Memphis cars use in place of trolley poles.  Gomaco also constructed for Memphis a new streetcar, a replica of a double-truck Birney, which was given Memphis number 453!  This car is shown in the third picture in service in Memphis in February 2004, at the north end of the Main Street line, where the track branches off to the right to the Memphis Riverfront Loop line.  MATA cars are painted in various colors, but share a characteristic pattern of striping, as seen here.  (Car 452 was destroyed by fire while in service in Memphis, November 4, 2013.) — Gomaco Trolley Company, used with permission

Eventually, inevitably, the elements got to car 453 again, and in 1992, it was given to NORTA.  Initially, it was stored at the upriver end of the Riverfront line, in a small building used for maintenance of the Riverfront cars.  Then NORTA built a car barn for Riverfront on the old Napoleon Yard property at the foot of Napoleon Ave.  A 1991 picture is known showing car 453 stored outside this building, apparently on shop trucks.  After the Riverfront line was regauged from standard to wide gauge (5' 2½"), and a track connection was built on Canal Street between Riverfront and St. Charles, car 453 was returned to Carrollton Station, where it has been under shelter ever since.  NORTA promised that the car would be restored, and suggested placing it on display at Palmer Park, at the end of the St. Charles line, but that never happened.  There was even money for the restoration before Hurricane Katrina changed everyone's plans.  Now, the project is in a complete limbo.

Picture 49.5.
Car 453 is lifted out of the Old Mint yard and across Barracks Street to be loaded onto a flatbed truck for its trip to a NORTA storage building, January 30, 1992.  The car's trucks have been disconnected and will be moved separately.  Compare Pictures 34 to 37, in which the trucks were dangling unsupported under the car as it was lifted into the Mint yard. — Photo by Matt Rose
Pictures 50, 51, and 52.
Car 453 at rest after its return to Carrollton Station.  The upper picture was taken in 1998, the other two in 2002.  In the upper picture, the cars behind 453 are some of the new Riverfront cars, built at this facility.  At the moment, they are mounted experimentally on Clark B-2 PCC trucks salvaged from second hand Philadelphia PCC cars.  However, in the end, it was decided to equip the new cars with Czech trucks and controls. — Upper photo by Ed Branley
Pictures 53 and 54.
Hurricane Katrina thorougly devastated every aspect of New Orleans life, including of course its streetcar lines.  Almost all of the locally built streetcars for both the Riverfront line and the restored Canal line were soaked in oily water, and had their motors and controls ruined.  The only survivor was car 461, which happened to be at Carrollton Station for painting.  Carrollton was spared the extensive flooding that hit Canal Station, where the Riverfront and Canal cars were stored.  As streetcar service gradually was restored to the city, car 461 emerged from the Carrollton paint shop in a brand new blue livery.  Here is 461, ready to go, at the French Market terminal of the Riverfront line.  The car ran for a while on Riverfront in this form, but when a problem arose with its controls, it was sent back to the station and withheld from service.  It was reported that parts for the CKD (Tatra) trucks and controls were not available, and that they would be replaced.  The car was to be repainted in the red livery before being run again. — Photos by Jim Schantz
Picture 55.
Formerly blue car 461 at Carrollton Station, October 13, 2009, in its fresh red livery.  The car is still awaiting window details, not to mention new motors, controls, and trucks, but all of that is on the way. — Photo by author Hampton
Picture 56.
Authors Hampton (at left, with beard) and Friedman (center window, in cap) pose in the vestibule of car 458 at Carrollton Station, February 2, 2010.  The car is almost ready to resume service on the Riverfront Line. — Photo by author Hampton
Picture 57.
Car 453 sits in Carrollton Station, November 24, 2009.  There are still no plans for its future.  The volunteer New Orleans Street Railway Association would like to raise funds for its restoration and operation, perhaps as a party car for charter. — Photo by author Hampton


Louis C. Hennick & E. Harper Charlton, The Streetcars of New Orleans, Pelican, 1975.
Louis C. Hennick, The Streetcars of New Orleans, “Appendix III,” unpublished manuscript, 2005.

Picture credits are given where known.  All pictures are in the authors' collections, except as noted.

Text and captions © 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 Earl W. Hampton, Jr. and H. George Friedman, Jr.
Photos by author Hampton © 2006, 2010, 2012 Earl W. Hampton, Jr.
Photos by author Friedman © 2006, 2010 H. George Friedman, Jr.
Other photos © by the persons credited.