Streetcars 1957-1965
Photos from the collection of
Allen Morrison

The following pictures were taken by North American tramway enthusiasts between 1957 and 1965. During those years there were basically four types of trams carrying passengers in São Paulo. There was a small fleet of 2-axle  bidirectional open trams, built at the beginning of the century by J. G. Brill, St. Louis Car, Trajano de Medeiros and São Paulo Tramway Light & Power Co., that were used on lines that did not have turning loops. All these bidirectionsl trams were scrapped in 1962, except cars 331 and 573, which continued to run until 1966 on the Belém line, which became a tourist attraction. All other São Paulo trams were unidirectional closed models (in contrast to cars in Rio de Janeiro, which were all bidirectional open models). There were 100 4-axle trams built in Montréal in 1926-1927 by Canadian Car & Foundry Co. (“CC&F”) and numbered 1501-1699. Because of their original pinkish color, the public called them camarões (shrimp). There were 75 trams purchased second-hand in 1947 from Third Avenue Railway in New York, which had built them in 1936-1937 and which the new Brazilian owners called “Centex” (center exit) and numbered 1701-1849. In New York these cars were birectioinal and drew power from a third rail in the street. São Paulo attached trolley poles, made them unidirectional and closed the doors on the left side. They ran twice as long in São Paulo as in New York. And, finally, there was a fleet of 4-axle trams that had been built as 13-bench open models in the 1910s and were reconstructed as closed cars in the 1950s – often, confusingly, in the style of the CC&F and Centex models – by the new Companhia Municipal de Transportes Coletivos (“CMTC”). Examples on this page are cars 1103, 1107, 1187, 1231 and 2103. All passenger trams in São Paulo had odd numbers. The system closed on 27 March 1968.