Birmingham Electric No. 1077 followed by San Diego No. 1078 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Kevin Sheridan photo.
Egad. In the week following the formal finalization of the contract to rewire all eleven PCC streetcars bought from Newark, New Jersey, those streamliners seemed to be everywhere on the F-line. It was almost like they wanted to show that, “Hey, don’t send me to the hospital, I’m just fine…see?”
The “Notice to Proceed,” authorizing Brookville Equipment Corporation to start work on the $18 million contract to rewire these eleven cars and completely rebuild five currently derelict PCCs for Muni, came on October 14, and Brookville could start picking up cars at any time. (Muni will determine in what order they go away, but rumor has it that 1952 Muni PCC No. 1040, the last of some 4,500 cars of this type to be built in North America, will be among the first, along with Detroit No. 1079.)
Cleveland No. 1075 at Jones and Jefferson with streetcars 1075 & 1050. Peter Ehrlich photo.
Back to the ex-Newarks, which we refer to as the 1070-class, reflecting their car numbers. Besides No. 1076, in Washington’s DC Transit livery, which has finished its testing and entered passenger service today, Cleveland Streetcar No. 1075 and San Diego Streetcar No. 1078 have been in regular service lately as has fleet workhorse Birmingham Streetcar No. 1077, which has run up the most service miles by far of any 1070-class car.
This doesn’t mean that the cars aren’t still in need of rewiring. On all but 1077 and (still “new”) 1076, Muni has expended extra maintenance time because of repeated wiring problems. But we now have four of these eleven cars in service at once, as many as we’ve ever had. And the betting from here is that those four will be the last to go back for their wiring fix.