Inside Muni’s Streetcar Restoration Vendor

Muni’s current vendor for streetcar restoration, Brookville Equipment Corporation of Pennsylvania, has produced a promotional video about its services. It’s got several shots of newly restored PCC No. 1006 (or is it 1008? – they’re identical and not numbered in the shots) on the shop floor (starting at 0:47 on the video), along with a peek at their mate No. 1009, partially painted in its Dallas & Terminal Railway livery (at 1:38).

Much of the footage covers the mining equipment and locomotives they build or renovate, so for railfans with wideranging interests, you might want to watch the whole thing.
Thanks to Jeff Marinoff for flagging this one,

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“Ruby Slippers” Dances along the F-line Again

Yet another PCC streamliner has joined the F-line fleet and this one brings blinks of deja vu.
Along with a back story.

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PCC No. 1070 shows off its "Ruby Slippers" – red wheels – in 2009. Jeremy Whiteman photo.

When the F-line opened in 1995, served by its initial fleet of PCCs, all 14 of the single-end streetcars in the fleet came from Philadelphia’s SEPTA transit agency and were fully overhauled by Muni under a contract by Morrison-Knudsen. They were painted to honor various cities that ran these great streetcars in the past. No. 1060 was painted in tribute to a city that still did run PCCs at that time: Newark, New Jersey. The 1950s Newark livery chosen was distinctive because it featured red wheels, which some fans called “Ruby Slippers” in homage to Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Fast forward to late 2003. Another PCC with a slick silver Philadelphia paint scheme, No. 1054, was damaged beyond repair while it was being tested — hit by an LRV with a distracted operator on San Jose Avenue. Coincidentally, Muni was about to close a deal with New Jersey Transit to buy 11 of their recently retired Newark PCCs. So, at Market Street Railway’s suggestion, when No. 1060 needed painting, it was switched to the silver “Philly Cream Cheese” livery, and the flagship of the new “1070 class”, No. 1070, was painted in the Newark “Ruby Slippers” livery. That way, both streetcars would wear the liveries of their actual home towns.
But, as we’ve recounted before, it has taken a long time to get all the PCCs of the 1070 class into revenue service. No. 1070 is on the street today, carrying passengers on the F-line, finally making its Muni debut. This means that only one of the 11 cars in this class, No. 1073, has yet to enter revenue service, and that could come any day now.
Even on this gloomy day, No. 1070 adds more color to the F-line, San Francisco’s “Over the Rainbow” transit line.

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Viva El Tranvia de Mexico!


PCC No. 1072, honoring Mexico City, on its first day of passenger service opposite the San Francisco Railway Museum, March 15, 2012.

Another newly renovated PCC streamliner has started carrying passengers on the F-line, and it adds another touch of international flavor to the route. No. 1072, painted in tribute to Mexico City, made its revenue debut this morning in the rain. It is the sixth of 11 PCCs in the “1070 class” to enter service following complete rewiring and replacement of some components at the Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania. Some of the 1070-class PCCs did operate in San Francisco before this upgrade; No. 1072, though, was one of six that had never carried F-line passengers until returning from this renovation. So today was its true San Francisco debut.
Muni’s 1070 class cars were originally built for Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In 1953, 30 of those TCRT cars, still almost new by PCC standards, were sold to Newark, New Jersey (from which Muni purchased these 11 in 2004). The following year, another 91 TCRT PCCs, identical to No. 1072, traded chilly Minnesota for balmy Mexico City, where they soldiered on until the 1980s.
With No. 1072 now in service, only two of the 1070 class have not yet carried passengers on the F-line, though both are expected to within the next week or so: No. 1073, coincidentally also honoring a Mexican city, Juarez (along with El Paso, where it was based — the line there crossed the international border), and No. 1070, painted in the livery it originally wore in Newark.
With Birmingham PCC No. 1077 back in San Francisco for testing following rewiring, only No. 1076, honoring Washington D.C., remains at Brookville among the 1070 class of single-ended PCCs. (We’ll have an update on the four original Muni double-ended PCCs at Brookville in a future post.)
Long live the streetcar of Mexico — on Muni’s F-line!

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“Last PCC” Back in Business!

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Muni PCC No. 1040 at Van Ness Avenue March 12, 2012, on its first day back in passenger service. Matt Lee photo.

The last of 5,000 streamlined PCC streetcars built in North America is carrying passengers again…on the F-line. Muni’s No. 1040, originally delivered in 1952, entered passenger service today a bit ahead of schedule. It had completed the minimum 1,000 of miles of testing after being completely rebuilt by Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania, but was waiting for a Clipper fare card reader to be installed when it was needed on the street to fill a run this morning, so out it went. It’s still out as this is written at 9 p.m.
We wrote about what makes this car so special back in December, when it arrived back in San Francisco. It last carried passengers shortly after the F-line opened in 1995, when a history-minded operator would slip it out of the yard. It already looked faded and tired, especially compared to the then-newly renovated PCCs Muni had bought from Philadelphia for initial F-line service. It only ran a handful of times before its lack of wheelchair access (unlike the restored PCCs) and its shabby appearance put it back in the barn. Now, it’s fully ADA compliant, and glistens like its delivery day almost 60 years ago!
Market Street Railway members (and only our members) will get the first shot at riding this car on a great excursion from the Ferry Building to the zoo and back on the F, J, K, L, and M lines on Sunday, April 15. Watch your mailboxes for that charter information and an even more exciting one that everyone’s been waiting for. If you’re not a member, it’s not too late to sign up so you’re eligible for these great charters.

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Would You Freshen My Shirley Temple, Please?

When Los Angeles Railway bought its first PCC in 1937, they pulled off a publicity coup by getting then-child star Shirley Temple to unveil it. Today, that first PCC has been fully restored by the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Riverside County, former Ambassador Shirley Temple Black lives in retirement on the Peninsula, and the spirit of that pioneering PCC is reflected in the F-line fleet by No. 1052. It’s just back on the street after Muni’s shops gave it… — Read More

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Car 1040: Newest All Over Again

Restored Muni PCC No. 1040 at Muni Metro East, December 15, 2011. (Yes, it can run the outer end of the L-Taraval line, and others, too.) Click photos to enlarge. During its “first life” at Muni, PCC No. 1040 was always the kid, the youngest in the fleet. Indeed, it is historic for being the last of nearly 5,000 streetcars of this type built in the U.S., coming off the assembly line at St. Louis Car Company in 1952. Now,… — Read More

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