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Plain Jane on the Way to a Makeover

Our San Francisco Railway Museum manager, Brian Leadingham, spotted this mystery PCC streetcar gliding by the museum the other day and snapped this quick shot. It’s No. 1056, which has been out of service for quite some time after cracks were found in the part of the frame that attaches the car to one of its trucks (wheel sets). The paint shop was taking the opportunity to repaint the car and had gotten the base coat of cream on when it was decided not to finish the repairs.

Reason: Muni is currently waiting for bids from contractors to renovate the original F-line fleet of 16 PCCs (Nos. 1050-1053, 1055-1063, 1007, 1010 and 1015). These streetcars have seen much heavier use than originally anticipated, due to the popularity of the F-line. The bodies will be fully cleared of rust (the original contractor did a poor job of this 20 years ago), the wiring will be updated, and they will gain the same new propulsion equipment, faithfully based on original PCC designs, that was installed in the last group of renovated streetcars (Nos. 1070-80, 1006, 1008, 1009, 1011, and 1040). This will make the PCC fleet closely standardized, based on equipment of the Westinghouse design, and thus easier to maintain.

Once the new renovation contract is finalized several months in the future, the 16 PCCs will probably be shipped to the contractor three at a time. Meanwhile, in the near-term, needed two good trucks to keep other PCCs running. So No. 1056 will temporarily become a “donor car”, giving up its trucks, which it will get back when it goes out for renovation (it will be one of the first group to go). The car was being moved by shop workers from Cam Beach Yard to Metro East for that purpose.

Mystery solved.

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