How true is this statement about Septa today?

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How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby train2 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:27 pm

A month or so back, someone was disposing of some rail magazine and I picked up a few for time killing reading. One of those issues was the April 91 issue of Railfan. Which had an interesting article about Philly's PCC cars. Most everything in the article is gone today with the exception of the Route 15. At the time author Williams stated Septa was the last operator of PCC's in the streets like they were intended to be used. At the time of the article Newark, NJ and Boston had, and still operates on the latter, PCC cars, but they did not run in the streets.

So is this still true today? I see a lot of photos of MUNI in San Francisco with PCCs in the streets. What I am unfamiliar with as far as MUNI is concerned: has this operation returned PCCs to general operation all over the system or is this a tourist only limited operation akin to Kenosha, WI?

Newark is gone, Boston clearly doesn't count due to separate ROW, Kenosha is not a real transit operation just a tourist loop. That only leaves MUNI. How does this statement stand up today?

And followup, Toronto would be the next closest operation. I know they have more modern cars, including currently getting some articulated models. Do they have any modernized PCC like Septa, or a historic fleet that operates if infrequently?
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Re: How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby JeffK » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:16 am

A bit of targeted Googling found this link http://www.streetcar.org/live/ which indicates MUNI's PCC cars are in regular service.

The best information I have for Toronto is that they have only two preserved PCCs; the remainder of the fleet was retired in 1971. I don't know if they're operational or static though.
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Re: How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby gls24 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:49 am

Many of San Francisco's PCC cars are ex-Philly cars. These single-end cars run on the F line on Market St and the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf. The F line is a regular transit line. Service on the line is also provided by a few older cars and some foreign equipment. The E line (recently started regular service) requires double-end cars as there is no loop at the south end.
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Re: Former SEPTA PCC cars...where?

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:34 am

T2 and JK:

SF Muni uses a partial fleet of former SEPTA PCC cars on their Market Street F Line which is run
as both a heritage tourist operation and regular transit route. These cars have color schemes from
a variety of cities that once ran PCC car fleets. The Market Street Railway Preservation Society is
the chief sponsor of this interesting rail route operation along with SF Muni. I visited SF in the
Fall of 2000 and rode this route with its interesting equipment variety.
See: http://www.streetcar.org

Toronto once had one of the largest PCC fleets in North America on its busy streetcar routes.
The PCCs ran into the 1980s and would be gradually replaced by the CLRVs. There are some
"Toronto Rocket" PCC cars preserved by the Toronto Transit Commission and by enthusiasts...
See: http://www.transittoronto.org - look in the Streetcar/LRV section...and http://www.TTC.ca

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Re: How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby JeffK » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:21 pm

MT - thank you for filling the gaps in my admittedly spotty cerebral database!

It's been quite some time since I've been in Toronto so I'm glad to hear they decided to preserve a group of cars. More recently I spent a week in Melbourne (Australia, not Florida :-D ) and had the pleasure of riding several Class W cars on the City Circle Line. That operation is a hybrid between a tourist line and standard tram service; it carries a lot of visitors and fans but serves enough of the city that regulars use it too. The fact that boarding is free doesn't hurt either, haha!

At that time the cars carried interesting liveries, at least for a Philadelphian: some were green and cream, while others were deep maroon. Sounds familiar, for some odd reason </snicker>
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Re: How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:21 pm

I just now remembered Kenosha: while it had no streetcars of any kind for a long time, it now has a sort of combination tourist heritage line and a legitimate transit route connecting the Metra (ex-C&NW) station with downtown and some high-rise and retail development on a lakeside brownfield site formerly occupied by American Motors. (I'm sure the rents match the building heights--it must be a magnificent view over Lake Michigan.) They have 6 PCCs in different liveries representing other cities which had PCCs, including Toronto and Johnstown. There was a proposal to extend the route, but I think it died, and as far as I know the starter portion is still running. It's definitely worth a trip out from Chicago to Kenosha, taking the streetcar from the station into town and back.
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Re: How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby roadmaster » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:23 am

ExCon90 wrote:There was a proposal to extend the route, but I think it died,


It did. Kenosha applied and was awarded $8 million in fed funding. They also dedicated about $3 million of local money for the expansion. There was some resident opposition as some of the line would run through a historic district and they thought the overhead would detract from the overall "historic image", but I think what killed it was the $5 million needed to relocate utilities. I can't remember if this was an addition to the $3 and $8 million already allocated or not, but the Mayor and council decided that the local $3 million would be better used for road repairs.
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Re: How true is this statement about Septa today?

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:08 pm

Roadmaster, thanks for the update. In the meantime I remembered that San Diego now has a heritage PCC in historic San Diego livery running on certain days a week on a downtown loop, with I believe more in the works. (I've been wondering about the effect on wheel wear on a car that spends its days making nothing but right turns.)
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