Muni’s governing body, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, has awarded a contract to Brookville Equipment Company of Pennsylvania to completely renovate Muni’s flagship streetcar No. 1. The contract is for $1.88 million including a possible $100,000 in spare parts.
Car No. 1 has been out of service for almost three years with a wiring problem. Last restored in 1962 for Muni’s 50th anniversary, it was decided to undertake a complete overhaul rather than patch it up one more time. The goal is to have the venerable streetcar (pictured here on its very first trip on December 28, 1912 with Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph at the controls) ready to play a starring role in Muni’s 2012 centennial, which Market Street Railway is helping organize.
Brookville, which modernized PCC streetcars for Philadelphia’s SEPTA and has worked on Muni’s ex-Newark PCCs, was the only bidder on the contract. We know of at least two small streetcar restoration outfits that wanted to bid, but either couldn’t meet the city’s bonding requirements or didn’t want to deal with the myriad unrelated requirements imposed by the city in its contracts. After finalizing contract formalities, Muni expects to authorize Brookville to pick up the car within a few weeks. The contract calls for it to be returned to San Francisco within twelve months after pickup.
In other streetcar restoration news, Muni is currently evaluating proposals from two companies to rewire the 11 troubled ex-Newark PCCs (streetcar Nos. 1070-1080) and completely restore five ex-Muni PCCs, four double-end streetcars (1006, 1008, 1009, 1011) and single-end No. 1040, which is the very last of some 5,000 PCCs built in North America. That contract is expected to be awarded in June, with the first Newark PCC returning finished within 12 months, and the first ex-Muni PCC returning within 24 months.