San Francisco MUNI
# 1118 & 1159
Both built in
1946 by St. Louis Car Co.
are PCC (President Conference Committee) cars built for St. Louis. They
were numbered 1720 & 1726. In 1957 they were leased by San Francisco
Municipal Railway (MUNI) and later purchase in 1961. In SF they were
renumbered 118 & 1159 respectively. PCC's were the electric railroad's
answer to the new competition caused by buses and automobiles.
They ride very smooth and accelerate quickly. The design was done from
1928-34. They allowed some operations to continue until the 50's. The
PCC's were so innovative that some patents are still being used today.
PCC trucks are still used today on some Heavy Rail transit lines in the
US. There were at least 5000 PCC cars built in the US, many more in
Francisco retired these cars in the mid-80's when the new MUNI Metro
subway opened. This subway converted 5 streetcar lines to light rail
standards. The Subway was no place for a PCC. The subway could only
load from "high platforms". Today SF has put PCC's back in operation
on Market Street on the "F-Market" line. These PCC's were bought from
Philadelphia and refurbished. They are painted in colors of many
different former streetcar operators throughout the US.
photo: 1159 (8/98), middle right, 1159 with the front of 1118
(97), bottom left 1118 on car barn lead (4/99). All photos by
Mark Kavanagh, Click to enlarge
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