Montreal Tramways Co. 2652

Sister car No. 2654 is operating on Notre Dame Street in Montreal, September 1957. Photo: Bill Volkmer collection,

Operating History: In 1930, the Montreal Tramways ordered 25 two car train sets intended to operate on the Rue Ste. Catherine line, the city’s most important east-west route. The lead cars, Nos. 2650 – 2674, were rear-entrance, two-man, pre-payment cars similar to cars acquired in 1927, but featured Westinghouse’s new VA (Variable Automatic) control system.  Montreal Tramways painted its one-man and two-man cars differently so passengers could tell which end to board as cars approached the stop.  No. 2062 received green paint for two-man, rear-entrance service.  Due to declining ridership in the Depression, Montreal stopped using two car trains in 1934.  Montreal Tramways removed the couplers, and both lead and trailing cars operated as single cars.  The 2650 series cars often ran on the Ste. Catherine Street line until replaced by buses.  The 2650s were fast cars and found their way to the Lachine line where their speed could be better appreciated.


Montreal Tramways was taken over by the city-owned Montreal Transportation Commission in 1951.  Montreal streetcar service ended in 1959.


Museum Ownership: During the 1950s, Seashore members enjoyed visits to Montreal to experience an extensive, traditional streetcar system which had disappeared elsewhere in North America.  When Montreal’s streetcar service ended in 1959, Seashore agreed to purchase several Montreal cars.  As the most modern traditional cars in the system, Seashore decided to preserve a 2650 series car.  So, No. 2652 represents the traditional layout of Montreal’s two-man cars.  The museum first needed to add storage capacity and to build a loop to operate Montreal’s single-ended cars.  The Montreal Transportation Commission agreed to store the museum’s cars until Seashore was ready to receive them.  No. 2652 came to Seashore in 1963 along with Montreal Nos. 957, 2052, 1176 and 1177.  (Nos. 1176 and 1177 were used for parts and were not accessioned.)  A year later, Seashore also enhanced its extensive Montreal collection with sightseeing car No. 2.  In the 1970s, the museum did restoration work on No. 2652, including repainting and siding and roof repairs.  The car operated until the Variable Automatic control caused problems in the 1990s.


Current Condition: No. 2652 is currently in storage awaiting restoration.


No. 2652 at Seashore, date unknown; Norm Down photo.