Muni had PCCs coming and going today at Metro East. Muni crews unloaded the first of 11 vintage streamliners from Muni’s 1070 class following its complete rewiring at Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania.
The rain led them to welcome the streetcar back home inside the spacious light rail facility at Cesar Chavez and Illinois Streets, just off the T-line. The 1070 class streetcars originally ran in Minneapolis-St. Paul when new in the late 1940s, and this one, No. 1071, is painted in the bright yellow and dark green of its original owner, Twin City Rapid Transit. (This group of cars was sold to Newark, New Jersey in the early 1950s, and purchased by Muni from New Jersey Transit in 2004.)
The 1070-class streetcars were given a cosmetic restoration by Muni, but this did not include the wiring, which was original and caused major reliability problems, such that only five of the 11 streetcars have actually carried passengers on the F-line (Nos. 1075, 1076, and 1077, which are currently operational, and 1078 and 1079, which are sidelined with significant problems). No. 1078 is already at Brookville, and No. 1079, honoring Detroit Street Railways and pictured at right, was loaded on the same trailer that delivered No. 1071 and sent back to Brookville today.
No. 1071, the prototype for the rewired 1070-class, It features an entirely new accelerator assembly under the floor, designed in the Czech Republic as an updated version of the reliable Westinghouse type propulsion components used on many of the 5,000 PCCs that once ran in North America. This new accelerator has been tested for the past nine months in PCC No. 1055, and has provided very reliable service.
The 1070 class of PCC streetcars had General Electric components until the renovation, but Muni is gradually standardizing on a single type of PCC propulsion system, to reduce maintenance training and parts requirements.
No. 1071 will be tested by Muni maintenance staff for up to 30 days to ensure it meets all specifications and will then be put into service. This will come none too soon, because the shops are struggling on a daily basis to meet the demand for service on the F-line. Having 11 reliable 1070-class streetcars available will make a big difference, but it may take another year before all of these are complete.