Streetcar Restoration Passes Board of Supervisors!

1006_33rd_Anza_c.1952.jpg

1006 at 33rd Avenue and Anza on the old
B-Geary line around 1952.

Today, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to approve the contract to renovate or remanufacture 16 PCC streetcars to add to Muni’s F-line fleet and help prepare for the coming E-line. Among the streetcars to be restored is No. 1006 which will again wear the original “Wings” livery in the photo.
Market Street Railway has been advocating this project for more than 10 years, and extends thanks to all at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency who have helped make it a reality.
We will publish a detailed story on the PCC restoration process in our newsletter, Inside Track, which will go to press in a couple of days. You can receive Inside Track by becoming a member of Market Street Railway.

Comments: 38

  1. That is GREAT news!! Once the ex-Newark cars get back, they can be added to the current F line fleet and maybe MUNI won’t have to add buses to over come the crowded conditions. When I’m there, I want to ride PCC streetcars not buses!!

  2. Paint it [1050] Pittsburgh Railways red and cream and rectify a major slight!
    Anyway, this contract is sorely needed. The Torpedoes should have been rebuilt over 10 years ago.

  3. No decision has been made by Muni as to when — or even whether – 1050 would receive a different livery, though it’s certainly a logical step. We know Pittsburgh and St. Louis, as the two largest PCC operators still unrepresented in the active F-line fleet, have been discussed. Any repainting would probably wait until this class of PCC receives overhauls after the 1070-class (ex-Newark) are in full service.
    Also, please note, save your thoughts and comments about livery choices for the double-end PCCs going into renovation (except 1006, which will also be in the Wings). We’re going to post a topic on this in about 10 days, with photos of unrepresented double-end PCC schemes.

  4. What a surprise, Whole Wheat Toast has an opinoin about what color you should paint the streetcars too.

  5. Now that all the papers are (presumably) in order, when will the cars start moving eastward? I wouldn’t bet the ranch, but most likely there will be postings on TrainOrders.com about trailers with PCCs being spotted on I-80 or at truck stops far from the Bay Area. “I saw a streetcar from LA Transit Lines on a trailer while driving through Ohio…..”

  6. There are still pro forma steps that have to be taken, so it’s highly unlikely the notice to proceed — and any car moves — will happen before October 1.

  7. Whoever has been picking colors so far has done a bang up job and I hope they will have final say and not leave it up to opinionated commenters.

  8. I have my own opinion on the paint schemes on the original MUNI cars but, I will save that opinion until the post, on that subject, in about 10 days or so, as Rick stated above. But, I would like you to look at this photo, of a NJ Transit-PSCT car, and I will ask this question: Why not paint a car in this paint scheme? MUNI has, I believe, some of these EX-NJ Transit cars. The photo is at: http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?51887

  9. Yes, Muni does have some ex-Newark cars. They’re part of the restoration contract that is the subject of the very post you’re commenting one. In fact, they have the one in the picture. But the paint schemes for those cars were decided at least four years ago. That one wasn’t considered because when NJ Transit leased that very car, #14 (now #1080, I believe) to Muni as a test, they wanted them to cover up the NJ Transit logo, if I remember correctly, because it was copyrighted (!). Plus, NJ Transit reneged on part of the deal. We were supposed to get 15-18 cars, not 11. Put those things together and it’s small wonder there’s no big sentiment to give them free publicity.

  10. Please don’t repaint the Harvey Milk streetcar with some modern design! Keep it like it isin the movie.

  11. Sorry, typo. Working too quickly to respond to all these comments. It is 1070. As for the other Philly cars, one has a rusted out body, the other has GE propulsion which would have to be changed. IF more PCCs are needed, I’m pretty sure Muni would rebuild more Baby Tens like No. 1040 before they’d go after these non-standard or rustbucket cars.

  12. Dennis, three Philly PCC schemes represented already. Enough, in my book. Besides, there are no current plans to restore any more single-enders, and only 1050 is a likely candidate for repainting at some point down the road. Several more historic schemes are already in line, as mentioned elsewhere in the comments.

  13. You need to repaint 1050 in the 70s Landor colors. This is a huge gap in the Muni fleet which should be fixed.

  14. Why not reguage the two Pittsburgh cars that are operatinal now? What is the problem with them? They were the best cars Pittsburgh had and have already been rebuilt. It is a no brainer to put them into service.

  15. Why not reguage the two Pittsburgh cars that are operatinal now? What is the problem with them? They were the best cars Pittsburgh had and have already been rebuilt. It is a no brainer to put them into service.

  16. Jack Thomas, Muni engineering doesn’t like the forced air ventilation and sealed windows on the Pittsburgh PCCs. Muni maintenance prefers as few subtypes of PCCs as possible. As I understand it, the two Pittsburgh cars are really quite different after that ground-up rebuild, under the skin as well as visible things like the suburban bus seats inside. Transit history is pretty clear: if equipment is unpopular among the people who have to maintain it — especially small-quantity oddball equipment, it rarely gets out on the street.

  17. Toast (or is it Whole?, and are you and Sourdough Roll a couple? Just askin’),
    You answered your own question. Mucho dinero, which ain’t floating around out there any more.
    Maybe before posting, some others will go back over some of the information here, like the fact that with 16 more PCCs on the way, plus another Australian car, and a couple more vintage car projects in process, there’s no pressing need to start new car projects right now, and, these projects take active advocacy and planning, not just a few quick keystrokes starting with, “You should…”
    Nah! Too hard.

  18. Are there any plans to aquire any more British vintage cars? Blackpool is about to get rid of 40+ of its 1930s vintage trams – could one or two be aquired to compliment the Boat. A double deck would look great on Market Street and can hold 100 passengers

  19. I looked back on the 2 posts relating to this project, but didn’t see when the rebuilt cars are expected to be entering service. Is there any plan to start E service.

  20. Why not paint one of the double end pcc cars to Pacific Electric since the PE pcc’s were double ended. Then the current single ended muni PE pcc car could be available to be painted in another paint scheme. That would correct another error in the current pcc fleet.
    When are we going to have a car painted in the old Market Street Railway colors. The restoration of car 798 seems to be going nowhere. That project seems years away.
    Paint a restored pcc in Market Street Railway colors for present enjoyment. In the true spirit of the old Market Street Railway that operated cars from everywhere why not proceed and paint a pcc in that scheme?

  21. Reference to Rick’s comment, above, about the Pittsburgh PCC cars being really quite different from other PCC cars. I’d like to direct you to the following article: “The PCC Car – Not So Standard.” It can be found at: http://world.nycsubway.org on that home page, scroll down, under United States, in the right hand column, between Tampa and Tucson, you will find this article. Click on the name. It makes some really good reading and at the end there are links to photos of the various types of PCCs and the cities that ran them. Enjoy.

  22. That forced air system worked for fifty years in Pittsburgh wonder what the problem is? Looks like the Pittsburgh Cars will never operate in San Francisco. Why not look for a buyer?

  23. With all the comments i’ve read. I’m just glad they are being rebuiltand the wiring being redone on the ex-Newark cars. Something that should have been done from the very begining. However It also would have been nice if 1704 could have found it’s way in the cracks and been rebuilt and repainted in the proper St.Louis livery. Maybe these cars will be done further down the line.

  24. I don’t think the F-line or the Muni Metro system is compatible with double-decker trams, is it? Though it would be interesting to see a double-decker tram operate in SF

  25. @andyb – MSR investigated the possibility of double-deck trams 25 years ago during the Trolley Festivals, and then again when it looked like we might be offered a Hong Kong tram. Short answer, they won’t fit under the 280 underpass on San Jose Avenue, so could not reach storage area and heavy overhaul facilities, nor could they fit under several low spots in the wiring on Market Street. (Double-decker systems usually have wires placed about 6 feet higher than those on Market.) And, PLEASE, before someone takes the time to propose storing a double-decker in some separate place and trucking it out for heavy overhaul, or doing it at Metro East as a special case, and raising the wires on Market Street, remember: this is a real transit system, not Fantasyland. Money IS an object, practicality IS important.(And this doesn’t even touch the very real liability issues with San Francisco juries attendant to narrow stairs that have to be climbed on a moving vehicle, etc.)

  26. Just one more reason to dispel any notion of running Hong Kong trams in SF: they’re 42″ (1067mm) gauge, same as cable cars. The only place in the US with a 42″ gauge electric railway is Orange Empire, and I think our loop track (where the narrow gauge cars run) has trolley wire that’s a bit low for double deckers. We have run our standard-gauge Irish double decker on the main line, but that overhead is built to Pacific Electric standards to clear main-line railroad cars.

  27. What is the possibility of having one of the double-ended PCC’s truck (wheel well) openings enclosed in order to look like a “magic carpet” streamline?

  28. @CD, essentially none. Contract is final; change orders are expensive; in-house, maintenance group is understaffed and body shop is overloaded with backed up LRV and Milan accident work to repair. Of course, anyone wanting to see a PCC with “skirts” only has to drive to the Western Railway museum in Solano County and look at No. 1003–a real “Magic Carpet” (the only survivor of 5 Muni streetcars bought in 1939 that resemble the 1006-1015 class).

  29. There’s been comments on how many PCC’s are painted in Phila. area schemes,three; 1007 Phila.Suburban Tran’s (not Transit) Co., 1055 Philadelphia Transportation Co.,green, cream,maroon belt rail (1942-SEPTA) and 1060 silver,cream,blue belt rail (1938-1941).The single ended cars came from there and were completly rebuilt including wiring before arriving in SF.There are also three LA Cars:1052 LA Railways, 1061 Pac. Electric and 1080 LA-NCL.One of the first cars to repainted into a missing scheme should be 1062 Louisville Ry. (political). Only one car was delivered there, the rest went directly to Cleveland- none ever operated in regular service. Don’t forget Johnston, PA. They had 17 All Electric PCC’s bought new.

  30. The newsletter said there’d be a posting to the blog regarding the upcoming color schemes for these “new” cars. I don’t think this is it, but, hey, so what?
    It sounded like one possibility is that we could have two cars in the same out of town or “tribute” color scheme. If that’s a possibility, I’m against it. If we are to have one town represented more than once (as we do with Los Angeles–which has three color schemes, one of which almost seems the photographic ambassador of the fleet, surely to the horror of some sourdough natives) I’d like to see us follow the trend set with L.A. and Philly, where we feature different liveries from the selected city. I for one would like to see another Brooklyn car, in Pachyderm Gray.
    If we are to have multiple cars in similar schemes, then of course, I’m all for a complete set of Muni colors for each type of PCC. And more of the Wings above all.
    And, just to be thoroughly cranky and unreasonable, if push should come to shove, I’d like to see some of the more dull and unimaginative color schemes shoved: My dibs would be for Baltimore’s blazing yellow and Detroit’s orange-cream not quite the ice cream bar to be given the boot.

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