Streetcar no. 1006 being readied to travel cross-country. Charles Darke photo.
Still wearing the faded green and cream “wings” livery it had when it arrived new in 1948, streetcar no. 1006 left San Francisco last week to travel across the country to Pennsylvania for restoration.
Late last week San Diego no. 1078 followed and so far four of the 16 PCC streetcars have made it to Pennsylvania’s Brookville Equipment Corporation for restoration with these two now on their way as well. We know work is already underway on at least three other streetcars, nos. 1008, 1040, 1071, and 1080.
You might be scratching your head as to why money is being spent to restore historic streetcars instead spending it on Muni service to prevent the 10% service cuts taking effect next month.
Fortunately or unfortunately, funding for capital projects like restoration, and about any one-time construction project, is separate from the funding available for regular, ongoing service and maintenance operations. Were it possible to redirect funding into operations we could find ourselves saving service only to find ourselves in a few years without enough working vehicles to maintain service.
Many of the streetcars currently running on the F-line have been in nearly continuous service since the line opened in 1995 and — especially since the extension to Fisherman’s Wharf — have been straining to keep up with growing ridership.
When those streetcars come due for their own regular overhauls in a few years F-line service would need to either be cut or replaced with buses were it not for the streetcars being restored now to provide relief.
Our thanks to Charles Darke for capturing these photos of no. 1006 as it departed.