1922-29 D.S.R. EQUIPMENT PHOTOS (Page 2)
© 2012 (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 10-10-12 (additions 10-13-13, 12-12-13))
Please click-on link to return to the "PHOTO GALLERY" Main Page.
In 1921, the City of Detroit launched its own separate street railway operation to compete with the
privately-owned Detroit United Railway Company
(DUR).  After voter approval of various ballot
proposals, the Municipal Operation
(as it is often called) was able to expand and eventually take-over
sections of DUR track, including downtown portions of two lines where the franchises had expired.

Facing a future loss of additional trackage—with 54.5-miles of franchises due to expire in 1924—it
was becoming evident that time was running out for the DUR.  On March 13, 1922, the DUR decided
to sell its city lines to the City of Detroit for $19,850,000.  Beginning May 15, 1922, the city owned-
and-operated Department of Street Railways
(DSR) took-over all street railway operations within
the city of Detroit, and in the suburbs of Highland Park, Hamtramck, and Springwells
Detroit D.S.R. (Department of Street Railways)
Accompanying the DUR purchase included the acquisition of 765 DUR streetcars, 196 trailers, and 68 service
cars needed to service the
363 miles of track now under the ownership of the city of Detroit.  With the absorbing
of the
Municipal Operation's fleet of 428 streetcars, the DSR would begin operations in 1922 with a total
fleet of
1,389 streetcars and trailers, along with 68 ex-DUR service cars.

DUR streetcar fleet acquired by the DSR included 592 double-truck cars and 173 smaller single-truck
cars.  The single-truck cars—built between 1892 and 1913—included some of the city's very first electric cars;
rebuilt open-bench cars; and even a rebuilt horse-car.  Unfortunately, all of the ex-
DUR single-trucks and many
of the older double-truck cars were in very poor condition and in need of immediate replacement.  On the other
hand, many of the former
DUR large steel body double-truck cars would survive through the World War-II
years and remain in service until finally retired in 1947.

Because of the wide variety and makes of the ex-DUR streetcars, only a few models will be pictured below.
Another type of car acquired in 1922 included 571 wooden body double-truck cars of various
makes purchased by the DUR between 1902-1913.  Car #1068 was one of 47 cars (#1053-1099)
built by the St. Louis Car Co. in 1903.  Although pictured here
(c.1910) at the Michigan Carhouse
(Michigan at Military) with its open rear platform, all of these wooden body double-truck
cars were later converted by the DUR into Pay-As-You-Enter (P-A-Y-E) fare collection cars by
1915, resulting in the open rear platforms being enclosed and double rear doors added.  The last
of these wooden body #1000-series double truck cars were retired by the DSR in 1930.
Although these rear-entry wooden body double truck cars had been the backbone of the DUR's
city fleet, they would take a backseat to the Peter Witt cars under the DSR.  However, 100 of
these cars (#1375-1474, along with a few others) were powered by four motors, equipping them
to also pull trailers on heavy lines.   This circa 1935 photo shows car #1152—a 2-motor wooden-
body car built by the American Car Co. in 1904—still hanging in there and now sporting the
DSR's third
(square logo) paint scheme used between 1927-1934.  The last of the #1100-series,
and all of the remaining wooden body double truck cars, were retired by the DSR in 1940.
[photo source: online – unknown (unidentified) photo collection]
The DSR also inherited twenty-one additional large double-truck steel body cars from the DUR
fleet (#3000-3020).  The city
(under the M.O.) had already acquired 105 of these type cars
(#3021-3125) from the DUR  in 1921.  Car #3003, built by the Kuhlman Car Co. in 1915 and one
of the cars received on May 15, 1922, is seen here with its trailer southbound on Wyoming at
Marvin street—across from the Wyoming Carhouse—while working the Michigan line during the
1930s.  Car #3003 is sporting the DSR's cream and green trim livery used between 1927-1934.
[photo source: online – unknown (unidentified) photo collection]
The city's purchase of the DUR resulted in the DSR acquiring 173 single-truck mostly rear-entry
open platform cars of various makes and designs.  The majority were built between 1895-1906,
while the newest of these cars (#850-999) were built between 1912-13.  Car #914 represents the
newer of the single truck cars and was built by the American Car Co. in 1912.  It's pictured here
at the Warren Carhouse
(W. Warren and Lawton) probably during the mid-1910s.  Many of the
single-truck cars were dilapidated and soon scrapped.  All were removed by September 1923.
[photo source: online – unknown (unidentified) photo collection]
FOOTNOTE: None of the former DUR streetcars came equipped with air-compressors.  An air tank was
located along the undercarriage to operate the air brakes, requiring the crews to stop each trip to refill
the tank.  Air storage stations were located near the ends of each line
(mostly at carhouses), thus
restricting the use of these cars to former DUR lines.  An air refill hose can be seen laying near #1068's
air tank in photo.  Air compressors were later added to the remaining ex-DUR cars by the late 1920's.
[photo courtesy of Janice Provalenko Pearson, whose great-grandfather Fred Perlick  
(motorman's window) and his brother
Emil Perlick (in doorway) both worked for the DUR ]
FOOTNOTE: None of the former DUR streetcars came equipped with air-compressors.  An air tank was
located along the undercarriage to operate the air brakes, requiring crews to stop periodically to refill the tank.  
Air recharging stations were located near the end of each line
(mostly at carhouses), thus restricting the use
of these ex-DUR cars to former DUR lines.  An air refill hose can be seen laying on the ground near car
#1068's air tank in photo.  Air compressors were later added to the remaining ex-DUR cars by the late 1920s.
Many of the older ex-DUR cars acquired by the city were replaced by new fleets of Peter Witt cars purchased
between 1922 and 1930.  The
DSR Peter Witts are featured in the 1920's Photo Gallery - Page 3.
DSR trailer #5339 was one of 25 built by the DSR in 1923, and is seen here during its last days
while sporting the DSR's square logo
(third) paint scheme launched in 1927.  Although used
heavily during the 1920's, the trailers would become a casualty of the Great Depression, with
lower ridership numbers rendering the streetcar-trailer combos useless.   Consequently, most of
the trailers were retired in 1936, with the last of the fleet
(mostly DSR built) retired in 1939.
[photo source: online – unknown (unidentified) photo collection]
On Feb. 20, 1924, the first three-car articulated train built in the U. S. arrived in Detroit after a
two-day trip from Cincinnati, OH under its own power.  Built by the Cincinnati Car Co., at a cost
of $29,771, the 122' 8" inch long streetcar seated 134 passengers and required three conductors
and a motorman to operate.  But unlike the streetcar trailers of that day, the "articulated" train
was an integral unit, which allowed passengers to walk from car to car at will.  Initially numbered
#5000, 5001 and 5002, the 3-car-train poses at the Woodward Carhouse in Highland Park.
[Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo #48411 — see disclaimer below]
Although the DSR had acquired a total of 219 trailer-cars (#5000-5223) from the DUR between
1921-1922, fifty addition trailers (#5300-5349) were built by the DSR in their Highland Park
Shops between 1922-1923.  Car #5301 was one of 25 cars (#5300-5324) built in 1922 and is
pictured here after construction sporting the DSR straw yellow with brown and cream trim paint
scheme launched under the M.O.  Trailers were separate motorless cars attached to the rear of
regular streetcars during rush hours.  All of the DSR trailers were equipped with coal stoves.
[photo source: Detroit's Street Railways – Vol. II: City Lines 1922-1956 (Schramm Collection)]
The "articulated" streetcar made its debut on the heavy Woodward Avenue line on Thursday,
Feb. 21, 1924, the day after delivery.  It's reported that the train carried 500 passengers during
one evening trip from downtown to the State Fairgrounds that first day.  Four motors were used
to power the train—two in the front truck and two in the rear, while the two center trucks were
not powered.  The motorman sat on the right side of the train
(instead  of the center) to better
view boarding and alighting passengers.  Initially, the train serviced the heavy Woodward line.
[Photo courtesy of the S. Sycko Transit Collection]
Former D.U.R. Trailer-Cars Acquired by the D.S.R. (Not Pictured)
The DSR would also inherit 196 additional (52-pass) double-truck steel body trailer-cars with
the May 15, 1922 take-over of the DUR's city street railway operation.  This was in addition to
the twenty-three Kuhlman Car Company built trailers (#5100-5122) the Municipal Operation
acquired from the DUR in December 1921.  The 1922 DSR
(219-car) trailer roster included:
Originally, the DUR owned a total of 250 Trailer-cars (#5000-5249).  All but 31 would eventually become
part of the DSR fleet.  The DUR retained the remainder for its Interurban operation.
-5000-5049  (50)
G.C. Kuhlman Car Co.
All Kulhman built trailers "deck" style roof
-5050-5099  (50)
G.C. Kuhlman Car Co.
-5100-5149    (50)
G.C. Kuhlman Car Co.
Trailers #5100-5122 (23) acquired Dec. 1921
-5150-5199    (45)
G.C. Kuhlman Car Co.
Trailers #5190-5194 (5) retained by DUR
-5200-5223  (24)
Detroit United Railway
Fifty total DUR trailers built #5200-5249
(Info courtesy of Detroit's Street Railways Vol II: City Lines 1922-1956)
This photo shows the interior view of a Kuhlman built "deck roof" trailer, one of several trailers  
rebuilt by the DSR in 1925.  Although the conventional trailer seating arrangement consisted of  
aisle-facing perimeter bench seats made of rattan, the rebuilt trailers were equipped with leather
cross-seats.  These rebuilt trailers were assigned to the Woodward line beginning in 1925.
[Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo #28490 — see disclaimer below]
All Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photos posted with permission.
All rights, including those of further reproduction and/or publication, are reserved in full by the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.  
Photographic reproductions may be protected by U.S. copyright law (U.S. Title 17).  The user is fully responsible for copyright infringement.
THE 1920's
1  2  3  4
THE 1930's
1  2  3
THE 1940's
1  2  3  4  5
THE 1950's
1  2  3
THE 1960's
1  2  3
THE 1970's
1  2  3
THE 1980's
1  2  3
THE 1990's
1  2  3
THE 2010's
1   2
THE 2000's
1   2
Unfortunately, the 3-part streetcar proved to be too underpowered to handle heavy passenger
loads.  Poor acceleration prevented the train from accelerating fast enough to meet schedule
demands on heavy routes with frequent stops, thus tying-up the cars behind that couldn't pass.  
As a result, the train was regulated to outlying routes like Baker and Northwest Belt
Because of its unsatisfactory performance, future plans for a fleet of ten articulated trains were
scrapped.  The 3-part train was later renumbered as #4000, 4001 and 4002
(as seen in photo).
[Photo courtesy of the Schramm Photo Collection]
During its later years the 3-part train was renumbered again, this time as #99-1, 99-2 and 99-3.  
Detroit's only articulated streetcar was formally retired on Friday, January 24, 1947, after
nearly 23 years of service.   It's seen here at the Woodward Carhouse awaiting the scrap yard.
For more on the DSR's 3-car train click-on: THE 3-PART "ARTICULATED" STREETCAR
[photo source: online – unknown (unidentified) photo collection]
Car #1207 was another make of wooden body double-truck cars acquired by the DSR in 1922.  
It was one of 25 cars (#1203-1227) built by the Kuhlman Car Co. and purchased by the DUR in
1909.  Between 1912-14 these cars were also converted into P-A-Y-E-type cars and retrofitted
with illuminated "Hunter" route signs.  Car #1207 is pictured here probably at the farthest
eastern terminus of the Jefferson-Grand River line, at Jefferson and Fisher Road in the village of
Grosse Pointe.  In this photo, car #1207 still sports its frosted glass lettered wood or metal route
signs and an open rear platform, which probably dates this photo sometime prior to 1914.
[photo courtesy of Judy D. Mendicino, whose great-uncle Lambert Peter Gerth (standing
on step-well) worked for the DUR (later DSR) as a streetcar conductor until the early 1940s]
(Click-on photo to view larger image)