A lot of San Francisco residents and visitors alike are understandably confused by the rainbow of paint schemes on Muni’s vintage streetcars. Which streetcars are “original” and which are “tributes” to a city different from that streetcar’s actual origin? Car No. 1050 has been especially confusing.
This streetcar was built in 1948 as Philadelphia Transportation Company No. 2119. In fact, all of the “1050 class” (Nos. 1050-1063) were originally Philadelphia streetcars. They were purchased by Muni, fully restored, and made wheelchair accessible, to create the original F-Market streetcar fleet. (In 2004, an additional 11 PCCs were purchased from Newark, New Jersey to expand the fleet to meet rider demand.)
It was quite common for PCC streetcars to change hands when the original owner abandoned lines. When that happened, the new owner would paint the streetcar in its own livery. And in San Francisco, many wanted to paint all the restored F-line streetcars identically, in a single Muni livery, either historic or contemporary.
But others advocated a variety of paint schemes, representing some of the 33 North American cities that once ran this great streetcar. That view prevailed, but it was felt the first two cars in the class should bear Muni liveries, so that’s how Nos. 1050 and 1051 were painted.
All now agree this was the right decision. The riot of colors the streetcars add to their route clearly increases their attractiveness to riders, even if many of them still think the streetcar they’re on really ran in the city its painted to honor. (Some do. If you don’t see “Tribute Livery” at the top of the page, that car actually ran in that city.)
So, although No. 1050 wasn’t originally a Muni car, it certainly has been one since the F-line opened and as such has every right to wear the famous green and cream “Wings” livery of the 1950s. But now that three original Muni streetcars have renovated to wear the Wings livery they were delivered to San Francisco in (Nos. 1006, 1008, and 1040), No. 1050 is getting a new look. After 21 years of intensive daily operation, 1050 left for Brookville, PA on March 30, 2017, where it is being fully renovated, part of a $34.5 million contract covering 16 PCCs with Brookville Equipment Company. When it returns to service in 2018, it will wear the red and cream livery of St. Louis Public Service Company, once one of North America’s largest PCC operators.
Philadelphia Transportation Company, Philadelphia PA, 1948 (as car No. 2119)
Acquired by Muni from
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia PA, 1992
St. Louis Car Co.
4 Westinghouse 1432J