Viva El Tranvia de Mexico!


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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!

Comments: 2

  1. It was quite a treat for me when, as a kid in the 80’s in Mexico City, I managed to convince my mom to wait for the by then rather infrequent _tranvia._ I missed them dearly when they were finally taken out of service. It’ll be nice to ride one again here in SF 🙂

  2. I’m mexican and live in Mexico City. I spent last week in SF and actually saw this streetcar and even got the chance to photograph it cause I thought the colors reminded me of my country. Then I come to this website and found out that the colors are meant to be mexican, how awesome!!! F-line is so much fun.

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