Post by tonyw79sfv on Sept 10, 2011 17:15:51 GMT -8
San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System debuted supplementary service colored as the MTS San Diego Trolley Silver Line operating the downtown loop section with restored vintage PCC streetcars on 29 August 2011. From the looks of the pictures, they are vintage cars with the exception of modern day pantographs instead of the original trolley poles (much like the Memphis MATA Trolley).
So this marks California's third historic streetcar service after San Francisco's F Market line and San Pedro's Waterfront Red Car (albiet with replicas). Of course there's also the original PE cars still active in the IE at the OERM.
Earlier this week, I finally made it to San Diego to ride the Vintage Trolley. It only runs during limited hours during the week (10 AM to 2 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays). There's only one car available right now--it looks wonderful, but has a rather jerky acceleration at some point. One criticism I've heard is that SD transit all-day passes and transfers are not honored; it's $1.00 cash in the farebox. Passengers enter through the center door; the front doors are blocked by the wheel chair lift. There's a uniformed fare inspector sitting by the fare box, so the motorman just runs the car--rather like the 2-man PCC's in San Francisco during the late 40's and early 50's. When I rode it, there were only a handfull of other passengers, so one wonders how long this run will last. It would be fun to charter the car and take in on some of the other lines, but single-end PCC's don't like to run backwards for long distances, so they're probably restricted to the downtown loop. At least it provides traffic for the formerly rarely-used south to west track through the 12 & Imperial station.