After a spectacular restoration, a 1940s streetcar paying tribute to Philadelphia’s “Red Arrow” lines is again carrying passengers on the streets of San Francisco.
It’s a fully restored – and rare – double-end PCC, Car 1007, delivered new to Muni in 1948, saved from the scrapper in the early 1980s in part through our nonprofit’s advocacy, brought back to service in the 1990s, again with our urging, and now resplendent in a storied East Coast livery. Car 1007 has reentered service following a lengthy delay after returning from its full renovation at Brookville Equipment of Pennsylvania. Staff shortages, pandemic problems, and rollout of a new radio system contributed to keeping Car 1007 on hold, but it’s on the street carrying passengers now, the final PCC in the 16-car renovation program carried out by Brookville to reenter service.
We thank MSR Member Jack Demnyan and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum for all the help in recreating the livery Red Arrow cars wore when first delivered to the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company in the late 1940s, and also thank Muni project manager Joseph Flores and Historic Streetcar Maintenance Manager Kevin Sheridan for the extra effort they made to help Brookville Equipment’s team get the details correct, right down to the unique number font.
Just to reiterate, Car 1007 is not an original Red Arrow car, but rather one of Muni’s 1948 “torpedos”, as they are colloquially called. Muni did acquire two original Red Arrow cars before the pandemic from a Connecticut museum. But subsequent evaluation of those two cars showed that the trucks (bogies or wheel sets) are located differently than on Muni’s torpedos, requiring major engineering and fabrication work to clear curves on Muni’s system. Given funding shortages, it’s not clear these cars will ever be restored by Muni, but Red Arrow’s legacy is still beautifully represented with Car 1007.