"Gliding Beauty" Rejoins Muni's Streetcar Fleet
January 17, 2013
PCC No. 1009, honoring Dallas, near the San Francisco Railway Museum on the F-line, January 17, 2013. Brian Leadingham photo.
Dallas didn’t operate PCC streetcars very long — just 11 years. When they did, just after World War II, they called them “Gliding Beauties” for their streamlined grace.
Today, Muni pays tribute to the streetcars of “Big D” with the first day of passenger service for PCC No. 1009, painted in the original Dallas livery.
Dallas is one of the few cities to ever operate double-end PCC streetcars. (Only the handful of the 5,000 PCCs built in the U.S. between 1936 and 1952 were designed to operate in passenger service from either end.) After Dallas ended streetcar service in 1956, it sold its PCCs to Boston, where railrans referred to them as “Texas Rangers.” Today, Dallas has a vibrant historic streetcar operation on McKinney Avenue and recently acquired one of the original Dallas PCCs for future restoration.
Dallas is also about to start construction of a modern streetcar line serving Oak Cliff (a neighborhood served by its PCCs back when) and has already decided to extend that new line.
Streetcar No. 1009, now wearing the Dallas Terminal & Railway tribute livery, is one of ten double-end PCCs bought by Muni in 1948. It carried San Franciscans on Muni routes until the 1980s. (Go here and click on the other preserved cars in this group, Nos. 1006, 1007, 1008, 1010, 1011, and 1015, to learn about them.)
After retirement, No. 1009 was stored by Muni for possible future restoration but terribly vandalized over the years, capped by a fire that almost destroyed it. Because of its flexibility (operable from either end) and capacity (one of the largest PCCs ever owned by Muni), it was nonetheless sent to Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania for a complete remanufacturing, with spectacular results. No. 1009 has completed testing and is now in passenger service.
This leaves one additional double-ended Muni PCC yet to rejoin the fleet. No. 1011 is still at Brookville but should return to San Francisco, fully restored, within the next month.