Capital Addition to the Active F-Line Fleet
October 14, 2009
A “new” streamliner PCC streetcar is about to start carrying passengers on the F-line and it’s an eye-popper. Streetcar No. 1076, built in 1946 and painted to honor Washington’s DC Transit in unlikely shades of aqua and coral, is now running around Muni’s streetcar system tracks in the final stages of testing before entering service.
This is one of the eleven streetcars acquired by Muni in 2002. This group of cars got cosmetic restorations, but the wiring wasn’t replaced and problems were subsequently discovered when the first cars in the group entered service. As a result, only five of the eleven have carried passengers to date, and all are now scheduled to have their wiring replaced, a few at a time, so they’ll be able to provide reliable long-term service.
Turns out several of the 1070-class cars had not been fully tested. Muni took a look at No. 1076, did some work on the doors, and now has it running through what they call the “burn-in” procedure: 500 miles of simulated service without passengers to make sure systems are reliable. As of today, the car is over 300 miles into the burn-in, reportedly running well. It’s not just being tested on the F-line. You may see it on the J, K, L, or M lines as well, since the surface portions of those lines are compatible with vintage streetcar operation.
If the burn-in is completed successfully, No. 1076 could be carrying F-line passengers within a couple of weeks. When those passegers board the car, they’ll see something odd next to the front door: a decal reading “an affiliate of Trans Caribbean Airlines.”
Despite Chalk’s theatrics, DC Transit foundered financially and was taken over by the government, like virtually ever other transit system. Now, though, that garish livery lives on a continent away in San Francisco. We hope No. 1076 will prove to be a “runner” and operate regularly until it takes its turn having its wiring replaced.
UPDATE: DC Transit No. 1076 completed its testing and began carrying passengers on the F-line October 28.