In the gloaming on West Portal Avenue, PCCs honoring Toronto (1074) and Los Angeles (1080) are about to turn onto the L-Taraval line for testing and training, December 8, 2011. Photo copyright Jeremy Whiteman.
One of our ace volunteer photographers, Jeremy Whiteman, is out and about these days west of Twin Peaks, tracking the moves of the PCCs in the 1070 class — the cars numbered between 1070 and 1080 recently returned from being rewired and having the door controls and some propulsion components replaced.
Several of these streetcars are now a familiar sight on the K, L, and M lines, as they make round trips from Cameron Beach Yard, where the historic fleet is stored and maintained, out to the Zoo. They’re not supposed to carry passengers; they’re being operated for two other reasons, both critical to meet the crush load of ridership on the F-line. First, the new components on these streetcars are being tested to ensure they meet Muni’s operating standards, while the cars are still under warranty from the vendor, Brookville Equipment Company of Pennsylvania. Second, as this testing is going on, new operators are being trained for the F-line.
Both streetcar and operator shortages have plagued the line, which is why you currently see so many buses on the F. Muni operations had added new “runs” (scheduled streetcars) to the line a couple of months ago, after having been told by Muni project management that seven renovated PCCs from the 11-car 1070-class would be ready for service by that time. It didn’t work out that way, as continuing problems with the modern door system, approved by Muni Engineering to replace the original, electromechanical door systems, have not yet been resolved.
No question, though, that the Muni team is trying hard to get these problems worked out, so that these streetcars can begin serving passengers on the F-line. In the meantime, riders on the outer ends of the K, L, and M lines are getting a reminder of their PCC past watching the training and testing cars go by. Currently, Toronto 1074, San Diego 1078, Detroit 1079, and LA Transit Lines 1080 are out and about, usually in the afternoon and early evening.
You can see more of Jeremy’s great photos, and comment on them, by joining our Facebook Group, open to all, or our Flickr group. Photographers: we welcome your submissions to either of these groups.