SEPTA to bring back iconic green and cream trolleys: 'Bring the nostalgia back to the city'

The iconic green and cream trolleys of the 1940s are coming back to service in Philadelphia.

During a news conference on Wednesday, SEPTA officials said the Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) trolleys were repaired and restored over the last few years at SEPTA’s Woodland Shop in West Philadelphia.

Now starting on Sunday, eight of the iconic trolleys will be running again on SEPTA’s Route 15 trolley line.

"So, at a fraction of the cost of new vehicles, these historic trolleys have been meticulously rebuilt and are now ready to serve our riders," said Ken Lawrence, SEPTA Board Chair.

"The buses are just as good getting you from point A to point B, but the trolleys give an atmosphere of old Philadelphia that not every neighborhood has so it’s good to see them back," said Vinny Vella.

CEO Leslie Richards said the SEPTA Trolley Restoration Team was innovative in finding solutions to restore the 75-year-old vehicles. They used original blueprints from the 1940s, reverse engineering and fabricated parts that are no longer manufactured.

"The team took these trolleys apart and rebuilt them piece by piece," said Richards. "From the frames to the floors, from the windows to the wheelchair lifts."

SEPTA riders can check out the rehabbed trolleys from West Philadelphia to Port Richmond. 

Many are looking forward to their return.

Eight of the PCC trolleys will provide service to riders from West Philadelphia to Port Richmond.

"That’s amazing, actually. It’s going to bring the nostalgia back to the city. A lot of people feel what Philadelphia felt like prior to all of the big city renovations," said DiAndre Brown.

"It’s going to bring joy, and joy spreads, so it’s going to drive up and down the street bringing joy and delivering joy. Driving off joy, that’s exciting," said Magik Ajemurewa.

SEPTA is the operator of the largest streetcar network in the U.S. The historic trolleys will be in use for at least the next decade, then eventually be replaced by a new fleet as part of SEPTA’s trolley modernization plan. SEPTA said the new fleet will be fast, accessible and an easy to use system.