Muni’s paint shop folks put the finishing touch on newly-returned PCC 1059, applying the “Boston Elevated Railway” decal prepared by our ace graphic designer, David Dugan.
The 1059 should be entering “burn-in” activities in the next few days. This is the acceptance period for each of the 16 cars in the current rehabilitation contract with Brookville Equipment Company following their complete renovation. This involves running the car without passengers for 1,000 miles to test all systems and ensure the car meets Muni’s specifications before they accept it for service. It will join PCC 1060 on the commonly-used test route that literally runs from “Bay to Breakers”: Muni Metro East, on the shores of San Francisco Bay in Dogpatch, via tracks of the T, F, J, K (or M) and L lines to the Zoo at Ocean Beach. (The streetcars are not in passenger service and do not have their GPS turned on, so you can’t track them online.) The 1060 is more than halfway through its testing period so should be carrying passengers soon. It too needs a finishing touch: the chrome-plated “wings” on either side of the headlight, which will be installed when they arrive.
Two streetcars from this contract, 1051 and 1056, have already reentered service. Get out and ride them while they still have their “new car smell.”
Two of the next three cars due to return from Brookville will wear “new” vintage liveries from cities that once ran PCCs. Car 1062 is the next one due back, and will proudly wear Pittsburgh’s red and cream livery. It is scheduled to be followed by Car 1055, which will again wear its as-delivered Philadelphia livery (all these cars were acquired by Muni second hand in the early 1990s from Philadelphia’s transit agency). After 1055 returns, Car 1063 should be next to come back, adorned in the original teal of Baltimore, instead of the later Baltimore livery it wore before it went east for restoration. We’ll let you know when they arrive. When they do, Car 1053, representing Brooklyn, and Car 1061, representing Pacific Electric, will head back to Brookville for their turn in the renovation shop. We’ll keep you updated.
Ah the holes in Google. “Teal” comes up green. “Baltimore PCC livery teal” produces a variety of images (on my computer) most of which are “F” line dominated, and none of which are remotely teal in color or tone. Some of them are even Boston “F”, pre and post Pennsylvania redux.
I’m glad that irritating old 1062 (which never seemed to run right, from an operator’s perspective) is getting rid of its fantasy livery (Louisville never ran PCCs, as the MSR ad cards noted, they traded them for buses) and is coming back in Pittsburgh’s very real livery (MSR’s torpedo has its own fantasy livery, but that one has local historical significance, which I welcome, irritating old queen that I’ve become; sadly it’s PA system is not so useful).
As lovely as the cars were when the line opened (again, as MSR has so often pointed out to those who objected to inaccuracies: As the only line of its type in the world) seeing the new, more accurate liveries is exciting. The “new” Boston, next to the restored Philly “Cream Cheese” and the renovated Chicago, and Kansas City, we get more of the vibe of the PCC era—the actual (or more close) representation of the colors pulls out the sense of Period. And, nearly thirty years on, the “F” line is still the only line of its type in full revenue service, traffic, addicts, nutcases, and eccentrics et al.
Muni is no longer the only system with “tribute livery” PCC cars. Much smaller but still colorful is the Kenosha WI operation, which I visited in 2013. Here’s their version of a Pittsburgh paint job: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f54992a7f1990a8fe4b4ae6ae895661948615341cc30e2a899e9affecbf98ec.jpg
Kinda looks like a red version of 1015, in front especially. I look forward to it. At the time I wrote this last post I hadn’t realized that MSR had updated its roster of “F” cars so that those getting them all had their new liveries, so while teal produced a google blank, the MSR site had the upcoming Baltimore redux in its new colors which will also be nice to see. In any case, this Pittsburgh livery outclasses the Louisville livery our car had from 1995!