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San Diego - August 2011

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San Diego — PCC Service Begins in August

Rail Transit Online, August 2011

Weekend and holiday service with a fully-restored PCC streetcar will begin on Aug. 27. Dubbed the Silver Line, the car will circle downtown clockwise on the San Diego Trolley's Bayside, C Street and 12th Avenue tracks. The trip will be made every 30 min. between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A preview trip for invited guests and the press took place on Aug. 16, and sitting right up front was 92-year-old Eddie Herold, a PCC operator for the San Diego Electric Railway (SDER) from 1940 to April 24, 1949. It was Herold who drove the last streetcar into the Adams Avenue barn when the system was scrapped just over 62 years ago.

The reincarnated car, No. 529, was built for the St. Louis Public Service Company in 1946 and later sold to San Francisco Municipal Railway. It was one of several purchased some years ago for a proposed heritage line at South Lake Tahoe that never materialized.

The car and two others were acquired by San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc. (SDVTI) in 2005. It has been meticulously restored, repainted in SDER livery and, where necessary, modernized; much of the work was done by volunteers from the San Diego Electric Railway Assn., an enthusiast group, but the cost still came to $850,000.

Meanwhile, SDVTI has now acquired a total of six PCCs and hopes to restore the other five for a proposed expansion of the Silver Line that would branch off the Trolley system near the downtown City College station and run through Balboa Park to the San Diego Zoo. The Metropolitan Transit System began work last March on a feasibility study for the project.


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