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Capital Traction Company 27

G.C. Kuhlman Company, 1918
Washington, D.C.

Principal Features

  • Double Truck, Double End, "Deck-Roof Car"
  • Trucks: Brill 77E1
  • Control: K66A
  • Motors: Four GE247D
  • Tomlinson Couplers removed prior to 1931


Increased passenger traffic in World War I increased demands on the Capital Traction Company (CTCo) and resulted in an 1918 order for twenty cars, numbers 26-45, from the G.C. Kuhlman Company. When delivered this group of cars carried equipment for train operation. Operating solely on the conduit lines of Capital Traction, these cars were not equipped with trolley poles, but did carry hooks and trolley boards for future use. The conduit system provided a challenge to train operation which took until 1924 to solve. By that time only twelve cars in the group, numbers 26-37, were used for train service. After only a few more years, Capital Traction abandoned train operation in 1931 and train equipment was removed from the few cars which still carried it (numbers 39-45).
CTCo 27 was completely rebuilt in 1931. Features included new brakes, floors and leather seating. The motors were shunted to improve speed in traffic. A new green and gray color scheme was used with green in the panel below the windows and gray on the balance of the car. By this time the car received trolley poles for use on the Connecticut Avenue line.
Capital Transit was formed in 1933 from the merger of Washington Railway and Electric Company and Capital Traction Company. CTCo 27 was renumbered as Capital Transit 766 and received the standard paint scheme for two-man cars (motorman and conductor) of yellow across the window section and apple green above and below. Increased traffic in World War II caused the company in 1944 to convert Capital Transit 766 to one-man operation by closing off the doors on one side of the car and installing a treadle door at the rear platform. The paint scheme already in use for the one-man (operator only) PCCs and streamliners was applied.
At the request of local traction fans, and with the assistance of Al Savage, in 1951 Capital Transit preserved 766 for use on charter trips and public relations programs. Wearing lights and garlands, the car paraded through downtown at the Christmas season. On some of these occasions, the company installed a piano and public address speakers on the car. D.C. Transit System continued use of the car on all ceremonial last runs as the trolley system was abandoned, ending with a final farewell trip on January 28, 1962.
Mr. O. Roy Chalk donated Capital Traction Company 27 to the museum in 1970.
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