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A Ride aboard Historic San Diego PCC Car 529 8/27/2011

by Chris Guenzler

After last week's Let's Talk Train Show, I wanted to ride the new San Diego PCC car on the new Silver Line on its first day of public running. So on Monday August 22nd, 2011, I made a round trip to San Diego, went to the transit store and bought a pair of tickets for Saturday at 11:00 AM. I contacted Chris Parker, who wanted to go, so we agreed to meet at the Santa Ana station at 7:45 AM to make the trip to San Diego. I used my Guest Reward Companion Coupon to help with the costs then I lived through that week and woke up on Saturday morning ready to go.

Pacific Surfliner 564 8/27/2011

I met Chris Parker in the parking lot and we watched Pacific Surfliner 763 arrive then a few minutes later, Pacific Surfliner 564 also arrived and we boarded, taking a pair of seats in a Superliner coach. We had to stop at Tustin because the detector by the 55 Freeway did not go off so the crew had to inspect the train. Other than that, it was just another trip to San Diego, where we arrived on time and walked over to American Plaza to buy the San Diego Trolley day passes to the 12th and Imperial Transit Center. But guess what came through the station next?

San Diego PCC Car 529 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1946 and ran in St. Louis before going to Muni in San Francisco in 1957 as their 1122, serving the J, K, L, M and N lines for 25 years. This PCC car is the first such car to run in San Diego since 1949. Now we would wait for a Bayfront Trolley to take us to 12th and Imperial, our boarding site for this unique loop trip around downtown San Diego.

Chris and I boarded the Trolley with some other fans going to ride the Historic PCC Run in San Diego this morning.

Freight power of the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad, part of the Rail America family. A few minutes later, we arrived at the 12th and Imperial Trolley station on new track for both of us. From here we walked to the PCC car for some pictures.

Two views of PCC Car 529. We went to set up for a departure picture.

Before that could happen though, this Orange Line trolley had to leave the station and our PCC Car would come by us next.

San Diego PCC Car 529 left the 12th and Imperial station. The two of us walked back over to a table selling tickets and other items where I bought San Diego Vintage Trolley T-shirts, then we walked up the street to catch the PCC car returning to 12th and Imperial, but first were a few other trolley movements.

A San Diego Blue Line trolley heading to San Ysidro.

Next a San Diego Blue Line trolley on its way to Old Town.

A San Diego Orange Line trolley bound for Gillespie Field.

Another Blue Line trolley also going to San Ysidro. Behind him was our PCC car.

San Diego PCC 529 and a jet plane heading for a landing at the San Diego International Airport.

San Diego PCC Car 529 came by our photo location and we followed it back to the 12th and Imperial station.

First, the 10:37 AM passengers had to exit before we boarded PCC car 529 for our 11:07 AM trip through downtown San Diego.

Chris Parker was in his first PCC car.

The author aboard San Diego PCC car 529. We choose the rear seat to be able to take pictures of our loop trip around downtown San Diego.

An Orange Line train for the Bayfront Line departed.

After that, our PCC car left the station.

The PCC car would run clockwise through San Diego, passing the San Diego Trolley Maintenance Base.

This Orange Line trolley had to wait for us to clear the station.

Our last view of the San Diego Trolley Yard.

We ran through the Gas Lamp station, the first of many we would not be stopping at since our trip was non-stop.

We passed the San Diego Convention Center and parking structures.

Running along the BNSF mainline for a couple of blocks.

Going through the main junction, where with the Orange Line branches off the left and the Blue Line branches off to the right.

The American Plaza station.

A Blue Line trolley bound for Old Town.

An Orange Line trolley heading for the Bayfront Line.

Our trip up C Street was almost over as we turned south at the City College station.

The City College station.

Our trip south down 10th Avenue, where we passed a Green Line trolley.

Our journey down 10th Avenue was almost complete as we returned to 12th and Imperial.

Our trip was complete as we returned to 12th and Imperial. Chris bought a poster before we boarded an Orange Line trolley back to American Plaza and once there, we walked over to the end of the Santa Fe station and waited for one more passing of PCC Car 529.

The final views of San Diego PCC Car 529. After that I bought some Coca-Cola and Chris bought some snacks before we boarded Pacific Surfliner 775 for the trip home riding another Superliner coach to Santa Ana.