PCC streetcar No. 1060, wearing its 1938 Philadelphia “Cream Cheese” livery (named for its silver and blue color, evocative of that famous food product), left San Francisco June 3 en route to a full rehabilitation at Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania.
It’s the third of 16 PCCs to leave town for the renovation following 20 years of intense use on the F-line. This $34.5 million contract covers the original F-line PCC fleet: 13 cars acquired from the SEPTA transit agency in Philadelphia in the early 1990s (Nos. 1050-1053 and 1055-1063 — No. 1054 was wrecked long ago) and three of Muni’s own double-end “torpedo” PCCs (Nos. 1007, 1010, 1015). It follows No. 1056 and No. 1051.
The contract describes the work to be done:
The rehabilitation work will include a complete disassembly of the vehicle; rebuilding of the carbody, underfloor, trucks, doors systems and passenger area; installation of a new Westinghouse-type propulsion system; all new wiring, power supply, lighting and a video surveillance system; and all necessary work that may be uncovered when the car is disassembled.
All three of the cars now at Brookville had been removed from service well before they left town. No. 1056 had a cracked bolster (the portion of the frame that connects to the truck underneath), while Nos. 1051 and 1060 had been involved in a car house accident that demonstrated the fragility of the rusted ends of those cars. Since the contract was about to be signed, no effort was made to repair them in-house.
The remaining 13 PCCs covered by this contract are all currently operational. It is expected that those judged the most unreliable will be sent ahead of those that are still running well. That said, Brookville wants to start on one of the double-end cars soon, so that they know what to expect with the other two. No. 1015 is the most likely candidate to go first among the double-enders.
The schedule calls for the first completed car to be returned to Muni by October 2016, with the second following no more than three months later, and subsequent cars arriving back, completed, every month and a half after that. If that schedule is to be kept, the pace of departures from San Francisco will need to pick up briskly.