“The Crescent Rose” (Car 122). “The Crescent Rose,” or “Rosie,” is our smallest trolley car. Built in 1909 to a standard American design by the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia, Rosie began her service in Porto, Portugal, where she remained in service until 1978. Not long after, MATA Co-founder Phil Cobb saw Rosie operating in the San Francisco Trolley Fair and brought her to Dallas. Rosie is popular with our riders, but because of her age, she only sees limited service—she mostly provides backup to our other cars and operating during special events. Rosie celebrated her 100th birthday in 2009.
• Built: 1909
• Length: 28 feet
• Weight: 14 tons
• Engine: Two 600-volt DC, 35 horsepower traction motors
“Green Dragon” (Car 186). The “Green Dragon” was built in 1913 by the St. Louis Car Company, designated for service in the Dallas Consolidated Electric Street Railway. During her 43 years of service, the car ran on the McKinney past SMU campus. University students lovingly nicknamed her the “Green Dragon” due to her color. When the streetcar system was abandoned in 1956, the Green Dragon was stripped of all her running gear and electrical wiring and was sold to an individual who used her as a hay barn in far North Dallas. In 1979, Ed Landrum, one of MATA’s Co-founders, acquired the Green Dragon and cosmetically restored her. She was on display in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Grand Prairie, and finally came to MATA when the museum closed.
• Built: 1913
• Length: 42 feet
• Weight: 21 tons
• Engine: Four MV101 40-horsepower, 600-volt DC motors
“Matilda” (Car 369). “Matilda” was built in 1925 by James Moore, Ltd. for service in Melbourne, Australia, where she served for six decades before MATA purchased the car in 1986. Unlike many of our other cars, which required extensive repairs, Matilda came to Dallas in running order and only needed a few cosmetic changes. Matilda is the only car in the fleet with a center entrance, and she has some of the most beautiful woodwork of any of our cars.
• Built: 1925
• Length: 48 feet, 10 inches
• Weight: 17.5 tons
• Engine: Four 40-horsepower, 600-volt DC motors
“Petunia” (Car 636). “Petunia” was built in 1920 by the J.G. Brill Company as part of an order of 25 cars for the Dallas Railway Company. The car is a “Birney Safety Car,” a particular design of car named after designer Charles Birney. The Birney cars had numerous safety improvements over earlier streetcars, but they were known for their bouncy ride and were never very popular with the Dallas riding public. Despite that, Petunia remained in service until 1947 when she was replaced by more modern equipment. She was stripped of her wheels, motors and electrical equipment and became a residence for 30 years before she was acquired by MATA in the 1970’s. Petunia has since been fitted with shock absorbers to smooth out her characteristically bouncy ride, and was named Petunia for her “petite size and generally sweet nature.”
• Built: 1920
• Length: 28 feet
• Weight: 10 tons
• Engine: Two 40-horsepower motors
“Betty” (Car 754). “Betty” was built in 1926 by American Car Company for the Dallas Railway and Terminal Company. She was active until the end of the company’s operations in 1956. Shortly after, Ben Carpenter (son of a president of the Dallas Railway and Terminal Company) moved her to his family’s ranch in Irving. Betty spent her retirement serving as a playhouse for the Carpenter children—the family even built a miniature town around the car. Eventually, Mr. Carpenter donated the car to MATA. Betty underwent renovations that included insulation and air conditioning, as well as new wheels that gave the car a smoother, more comfortable and quieter ride.
• Built: 1926
• Length: 48 feet
• Weight: 19 tons