Facebook Page
San Francisco Trip 2018:

San Francisco Trip 2018:




            While I had fun in San Francisco back in 2016, I was unable to ride one specific PCC I really wanted to ride; #1074 which is painted in TTC colours. I decided that at some point, I would return in the future. 2018 was the year I decided to go back.


            My plan was to fly down to San Francisco for the 2018 Heritage Weekend. I would fly the Thursday before and stay until the Tuesday after. I would then take Amtrak’s California Zephyr to Chicago where I would connect with the Lakeshore Limited. I would ride the Lakeshore Limited to Buffalo and then connect to the Maple Leaf. The trip unfolded as follows.


September 6, 2018:


            I got to Toronto’s Pearson Airport shortly after 3:00 pm. My mom dropped me off at Terminal 3. I was flying Delta down to San Francisco. I checked in and checked my suitcase. I then cleared security without incident. I also cleared U.S. Customs also without incident. I then found my gate. I photographed a couple planes.






            I saw a place where I could have a massage, but there were several people ahead of me and it would be pushing my plane boarding.


            I found an outlet and worked on this report. I tried to log into the airport’s Wi-Fi but was unsuccessful. I soon made my way back to the gate. My plane was there. On the first leg of my trip, I would be flying an Airbus A320. I photographed the plane and an Air Transat Airbus A321.




Boarding began a little while later. I had a window seat on the left-hand side of the plane. From my plane, I photographed the Air Transit A321 again.



            The plane left a few minutes early. As we taxied out to the runway, I photographed other planes.







            As the plane took off, I filmed the takeoff roll. During the flight, I watched the on-board entertainment service for most of the flight.


            We were soon approaching Salt Lake City. We actually flew past the airport and turned around to land. As we landed, I filmed the landing. We had arrived early. After we got off the runway, we stopped a couple times. I photographed some planes.



            We were soon at the gate. I got off and photographed the plane.



            I had to get to the gate where my connecting flight was leaving from. As it happened, it was a bit of a walk. I headed out and stopped at a food court in the terminal and bought dinner. I took it to my gate. My flight started boarding before I could finish my dinner. I wanted to photograph my plane but I was unable to.


            I was flying from Salt Lake City to San Francisco on a Boeing 717. The economy section had five seats per row with there being two seats on the left-hand side and three on the right. Once again, I had a window seat. From my plane, I photographed another Delta Airlines jet.



            We left on time. By now, it was dark. I filmed the takeoff roll. This plane had no on-board entertainment system. I listened to music and podcasts on my iPod.


            We were soon approaching San Francisco. I could see the city underneath. I thought “There are PCCs down there.”


            As we came into land, we were flying parallel to an Aeromexico plane landing on a parallel runway. I filmed the landing. We taxied off the runway and stopped for a few minutes. We were soon moving again and were at the gate. From my plane, I photographed a Delta Boeing 757.



            I soon got off the plane. I was hoping to photograph it, but I was unable to. I went to the baggage claim and got my suitcase. I then took the airport’s monorail to the BART station. I took a BART train to downtown Oakland. I got off and walked two blocks to my hotel and checked in.


            My room was on the 4th floor and I had to take the stairs. I made it to my room and soon called it a night.


September 7, 2018:


            I didn’t get much sleep. I could hear all the sounds from outside clearly. There were also no curtains in the window!


            I eventually got up after 7:30 am and got dressed. I walked around and found somewhere for breakfast. I then made my way to the BART station and caught a BART train into downtown San Francisco.


            The first PCC I saw was #1072. #1072 is an ex Newark car painted for Mexico City. While Mexico City only bought one PCC streetcar new, they purchased cars second hand from Detroit and the Twin Cities. So, they purchased some of #1072’s sister cars as #1072 as with all the Newark cars was purchased from the Twin Cities after they abandoned their streetcar operations.


            I photographed #1072.



            I then looked up Market Street and saw another PCC coming. It looked like it might be #1074! I waited and as it turned out, it was! I was overjoyed that I would FINALLY be able to ride the car! I photographed it.




            #1074 was heading towards Fishman’s Wharf. I decided to wait until the car returned to ride it. The museum store where I bought my Muni weekly pass wasn’t open yet. I decided that if 1074 returned before it opened, I would ride it because I had no idea if I would be able to ride the car again.


            I then phoned home while waiting. I then decided to photograph various cars in service on the F line.


            The first car to come by was PCC #1079 which is painted for Detroit. #1079 was running the last time I went to San Francisco.



            The next car was PCC #1053. When I was in San Francisco last time, Muni was starting to have its ex SEPTA PCCs rebuilt. Car #1053 was the latest car to have entered service following rebuilding.




            The contract Muni signed was for the 13 ex SEPTA cars (minus the accident damaged 1054) and three original San Francisco double ended PCCs. To date, all the SEPTA cars are either out for rebuilding or on property and rebuilt. Two of the double ended cars are in the process of being rebuilt with the last ex SEPTA cars also being rebuilt.






These cars were all at Brookville at the time of my trip. I photographed them all in 2016.



            The cars are being rebuilt by Brookville in Pennsylvania. As a result, the cars are shipped across the country for rebuilding!


            Two rebuilt cars haven’t entered service by this morning: #1052 and #1060. I had photographed #1052 in service on my last trip.



Here’s #1052 back in 2016.


            #1060 is a special case. It was the third car to have been returned to San Francisco but earlier this year, it was shipped back to Brookville for warranty repairs on its roof but has returned but is undergoing a bit of testing before entering service.  #1060 was at Brookville at the time of my last trip to San Francisco.


            The next PCC car to come by was #1055. #1055 was at Brookville when I was in San Francisco the last time. It had been loaded up onto the truck that brought #1056 back to San Francisco.


            #1055 is painted in its original Philadelphia colours which are worn by SEPTA’s current PCC-2s. I photographed #1055.



            The next car to pull up was #1050. #1050 is painted for St. Louis. At the time of my last trip, #1050 was in service but was painted in the Muni “Wings” livery. It is one of three cars to have been repainted following rebuilding at Brookville. Muni repainted #1050 because they wanted to have an active service car in the St. Louis livery and three other PCCs were already in the Muni “Wings” livery: #1040, #1006, and #1008.




Here’s #1050 back in 2016.


            I filmed #1050 pulling away. The next car to arrive was #1051. #1051 is painted in Muni’s 1960s livery and is dedicated to Harvey Milk; a politician and transit advocate who was gay. #1051 was used in a movie about Harvey Milk prior to it going for rebuilding.




            #1051 was at Brookville when I was last in San Francisco, but returned a couple months after my trip.


            The next car to come by was #1078; another ex Newark car painted for San Diego. #1078 was not in service when I was last in San Francisco, but I photographed it in the car house back then.



            San Diego was the first property on the west coast to run PCCs in service. It was also one of the first; if not the first streetcar system to have purchased PCCs to abandon streetcar service. Many of their cars were sold to El Paso. However, recently San Diego started running a line with PCC streetcars painted in the same livery as #1078. Perhaps some day I’ll check it out.


            The next PCC to come was #1073 which is painted for El Paso; the system that bought many of San Diego’s PCCs. #1073 was also bought from Newark. In Newark, it ran as #22. Corgi produced a model of the car in New Jersey Transit colours.



            The next streetcar was Milan Witt #1815. #1815 was the only Milan Witt running that day.



            #1074 was next PCC to arrive. I photographed the car before I got on.



            Even though #1074 is NOT an original Toronto PCC, I wanted to ride it just because it was painted for TTC which had the largest fleet of PCCs in North America; 745 cars.


            I rode #1074 to Castro and got off and photographed the car.





            I waited for #1074 to leave and I photographed and filmed the car leaving.




            I then waited for the next car which was #1072; the Mexico City painted PCC. I did not see #1072 at all when I was in San Francisco back in 2016. I photographed the car before I got on.



            I rode #1072 back to the San Francisco Railway Museum. Along the way someone just missed the car and they smacked the door which cracked one of the windows on the door!



            I got off in front of the San Francisco Railway Museum and photographed the car.



            I filmed the car pulling away and took one more photo.



            I then went inside. The person there remembered me from two years ago. I mentioned how I had tried to ride #1074 without success back then, but it was different now.


            I bought a Muni weekly pass and three postcards. I then photographed double ended PCC #1008.



            I photographed other PCCs as well.





            I saw Muni PCC #1073 was coming. I decided to go for a ride. I photographed the car before I got on.



            I rode to Fisherman’s Wharf. I got off and photographed PCCs 1073 and 1050.





            Just then PCC #1062 pulled up. #1062 is ex SEPTA and is now painted in Pittsburgh colours. #1062 was away at Brookville when I was in San Francisco two years ago. Before it went to Brookville, the car was painted for Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville ordered 25 PCCs, but after many cars were delivered, they were sold to Cleveland in exchange for buses without earning a penny in Louisville. The cars were then sold to Toronto and ran until the early 80s. One Louisville PCC survives at the Halton County Radial Railway Museum, but is in bad shape and is probably going to be scrapped.


            #1062 has gone through the same fate as former Toronto PCC #4609 in Kenosha which was originally to be painted for Louisville, but was later painted for Pittsburgh because the people in Kenosha thought Louisville’s livery was ugly. However, unlike #1062, #4609 was never painted in Louisville colours.


            I took a couple photos of #1062 including one with a postcard showing #1062 in Louisville colours.




Here’s a before and after picture of PCC #1062.





            There were a couple people from the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum which has some original Pittsburgh PCCs. They compared #1062 to their car #1711.


            I then walked a few blocks. I decided to ride a cable car. There was a small line and I had to wait for a couple cars before I was able to get on. I took some photos.






            The cable car headed off. I rode to the top of Lombard Street. I got off and photographed the car.



            I filmed the car pulling away and then took some photos on Lombard Street.





            After, I decided to once again ride a Golden Gate Transit Orion 5. I looked for a stop. Meanwhile at least one Golden Gate Transit Orion 5 passed. I photographed it.




            I caught a Muni XD40 and rode down the street to where I picked up the Orion 5 last year. I photographed a double decker bus for tourists as it brushed against a tree.




            A Golden Gate Transit Orion 5 soon came. I photographed it before I got on.



            I rode the bus across the Golden Gate Bridge. I filmed the ride over the bridge. However, I didn’t get off right away. Instead I rode to the San Rafael Transit Center. I got off and photographed the bus as well as other buses at the terminal.










            When the Orion 5 I rode in on departed, I filmed the bus pulling away. The reason I came here was to ride the SMART commuter train. The commuter train boards across the street from the terminal. It also uses cars similar to the Union Pearson Express back home. I’ve heard that the Union Pearson Express may have piggybacked their order onto SMART’s order or maybe vice-versa.


            I used my Clipper card to pay my fare. Clipper is like Presto back home and works with multiple transit systems in the Bay Area.


            A train was in the station. I photographed it before I got on.



            I boarded the front car of the two-car train. We soon departed.


            One thing about SMART is that unlike many commuter rail operations, they serve food on board. However, I didn’t buy anything while I was on the train.


            I rode three stops to Novato San Marin and got off. I photographed the train.



            I then filmed the train departing and took one more photo.



            The SMART trains run on right-of-way owned by the Northwestern pacific. At stations, they have a gauntlet track to allow wider freight trains to get past. In Kitchener, the new light rail line called Ion scheduled to open late this year or some point next year will use something similar as a good portion of their right of way is on a branch line used by freight trains. The Chicago, South Shore, and South Bend used to have a gauntlet track on a bridge until a fatal collision resulted in the CSS&SB replacing the gauntlet track with switches on either side of the bridge. My friend Greg in Chicago was on board one of the trains involved in the accident though he obviously survived because that accident happened before I met him!


            The next train back was due in about 20 minutes. I waited around and when it arrived, I photographed it and filmed it pulling in.




            I boarded the front car and noticed that this train had three cars. While the Union Pearson Express sometimes run three car trains, the middle car has door to allow passage to the car in front as well as a cab to lead. However, SMART only got cars similar to what always would be at the end of the UP Express. From where I was, I couldn’t access cars behind me.


            The train left. Along the way, I photographed a yard with some retired Golden Gate Transit highway coaches and RTS buses as well as a Northwestern Pacific freight train.




            We soon arrived back at San Rafael. I got off and photographed the train.





            I then went across the street to catch a bus back to San Francisco. I ended up boarding the same Orion 5 back to San Francisco. I photographed it before I got on.




            I rode back to San Francisco. As we passed over the Golden Gate Bridge, I filmed it. We headed into downtown San Francisco. I eventually got off and filmed the bus pulling away.


            After I filmed the bus pulling away, someone said to me that they hoped I wasn’t filming him. I mentioned the bus. He said that if I had filmed him, he would have smashed me! I said, “Are you threatening me?” a couple times before I walked off annoyed.


            After that bit of aggravation, I filmed another Golden Gate Transit Orion 5 without incident. I then went into the Metro and boarded a train on the “J” line. I photographed the car before I got on.



            I rode the car to the end of the line which is near the car house where the PCCs are now based at. Since my trip last year, Muni has been using the cars near the Balboa Park BART station where the J, K, and M lines serve.


            The car I was on was actually following Muni PCC #1059 back to the car house! #1059 is painted in Boston colours and was away when I visited San Francisco back in 2016. After it returned from being rebuilt, it was painted in a more accurate shade of orange. It previously wore a darker shade of orange as Muni didn’t have as much shades of colours to work with as they do now. #1063 was also in a different shade of yellow than Baltimore used. I will talk more about #1063 later.


            I got to Balboa Park and got off. I photographed the car.



            I saw there was a facility with lots of LRVs in it. I walked around but I didn’t see any historic streetcars inside. I noticed an “M” line train pulling into another car house a block away and went to investigate. Sure enough, there were PCCs in the yard including #1074. I took some pictures as I walked around the outside of the car house the best I could without trespassing.







            I then boarded an “M” line train and rode back downtown. I got off at Castro and walked to the loop where the “F” line cars are. I photographed #1055 and filmed it pulling away.



            I then photographed #1051 which was right behind #1055.



            I then boarded #1051 and took some interior shots. This would be the first time I rode a SEPTA PCC after being rebuilt. I rode the car close to downtown and got off. I photographed the car and filmed it pulling away.



            I then walked to a Taco Bell for dinner. After dinner I photographed Muni PCC #1071 which is painted in its original Twin Cities livery.



            I then caught PCC #1073 back into San Francisco. As we neared downtown, I got off and photographed the car.



            I filmed the car pulling away. I had seen #1062 was behind it and wanted to ride it. I photographed 1062 before I got on.



            My ride was only a minute long. I got off and photographed #1062 and filmed it pulling away.



            I went into a store and bought some earplugs to help me sleep. I left the store and saw Muni PCC #1060 was in service. I had seen it on a test run earlier, but now the car was in service. I photographed the car and filmed it leaving.




            I then got on the BART and rode back to 12th Street. While I was on the train, I saw someone in wheelchair who was vaping even though it was against BART’s rules. I got off and walked back to my hotel. I attempted to login to the Wi-Fi. I couldn’t get it working. I ended up going to the lobby and switching rooms! My new room was only a tiny bit better, but the Wi-Fi worked. I eventually set the alarm on my phone and called it a night.


Click here for Heritage Weekend:       Heritage Weekend day 1