Muni’s flagship streetcar, 1912 No. 1, has safely arrived at the shops of the contractor, Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania (below), the first time in its 97-year life that the streetcar has left San Francisco. Reports we’ve received tell us restoration has already started.
The contract calls for the streetcar to be completely rehabilitated with its original motor and control technology intact, but with the addition of low-voltage circuitry for the interior lights and modern VETAG switch controls and GPS for tracking, like the PCCs, MIlans, and some other vintage streetcars have. The historic fabric of No. 1 is not supposed to be altered. In fact, the contract contains such language as the following:
The Contractor shall be fully aware of the historical nature of the vehicle and note that it is the SFMTA’s intent to preserve the design and integrity of the original interior and exterior to the greatest extent possible. For example, if slotted brass screws or hot rivets were originally used, then they should be used again or a substitute fastener if it closely resembles the original. The SFMTA will hold the Contractor responsible for any damage to historic Streetcar components caused during the Contractor’s possession of the Streetcar.
According to the terms of the contract, the car must be completed and returned to Muni by May 14, 2010, so time is of the essence for Brookvile. Market Street Railway will be monitoring the work to the extent possible with an eye toward maintaining the essential autheniticity of this irreplaceable streetcar.