Repairs to PCC 1014

Early in 2018, PCC 1014 developed problems with its control circuits that was eventually traced to an issue with the ‘MG’ (Motor Generator) set. The MG provides the low voltage (32volts) power that runs all the ancillary control logic that makes the car operate.

In May, 1014 was moved into the workshop to look further into the issue and eventually, the issue was traced to a ‘burned’ field coil in the MG set. This required the equipment to be removed from the car, no easy feat on its own.

1014 alongside Melbourne Y1 611.

While the car is in the workshop the opportunity has been taken to deal with other issues like partial body rust and faulty windows. It was then decided that this will mean the car gets entirely repainted.  Other minor repairs or ‘fixes’ include replacing the ‘modern’ sealed beam headlight with an authentic ‘golden glow’ headlight that had been donated for eventual fitting to 1014.

The opportunity will also be taken to lift the car off its bogies and give every thing a good clean and close inspection. The car has NEVER been lifted in it’s time in Australia.

June/July 2018

In late June, the MG set was removed and stripped down. While US contacts have been asked about obtaining parts or even a complete MG set, the workshop is proceeding with repairs to the existing MG set anyway. If we can secure parts from the US and the fault in our unit CAN be repaired too, it will mean we have spares on hand if a fault occurs in the future.

In the immediate future, a pair of new bearings will be sourced and the field coils removed and quote obtained for rewinding the failed one.

August 2018

On Saturday the 18th of August 2018, 1014 was lifted for the first time since it arrived in Australia. The two bogies were rolled out and will now undergo a clean and thorough inspection.

Photos: Bill Parkinson

September 2018

Over September, work continued on both the body and the bogies. The body panel on the front has been modified to take the original style of headlamp and work continues on the car’s other cosmetic touch ups, including cutting out various rust spots.

The bogies have been inspected and steam cleaned, before being re-placed back under the car. This was done before work on them was completed, in order to allow 1014 to be shunted out of the workshop for other works to progress.

December 2018

Work on 1014 continues – with the body being patched, sanded back and painting officially starting from the roof downwards. On Wednesday the 12th of December the Wednesday crew started painting on the roof; completing the trolley poles and the ‘bridge’ between them.

January 2019

The painting work has continued to progress, with most of the car body now painted apart from detailed finishes. The electrical repairs are waiting on parts from San Francisco.

February 2019

The refurbishment of 1014 is nearly complete, with repainting & general bodyworks now finished. The car has once again been lifted & the trucks removed in order to finish off their overhaul. Due to space constraints in the workshop, both trucks can only be attended to one at a time, with the No.1 truck to be serviced first. When both trucks are completed, a coat of gloss black will adorn them before going back under the car.

We are still waiting on the spare MG sets plus other parts from San Francisco, until we can make the car operational again.

16th February 2019

The 2nd bogie was rolled out and placed on the work stand.

20th February 2019

A team effort has been made into repainting both bogies gloss black. They will now be re-placed back under the car.

April 2019

With all but the electrical repairs to 1014 now completed, the opportunity was taken to remove the car from the workshop, and place it on Road 4 in the Display Hall, until the spare PCC parts from San Francisco arrive.

Video: Michael Hatton
Photos: Michael Hatton

March 2020

After months of delay, the spare parts for 1014 have finally arrived from San Francisco. These comprise of two newly overhauled MG sets, plus door motors and handrail fittings from sister car 1007, which has since been overhauled at Brookville manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, the offside doors that are currently on 1014, were originally sourced from 1007 as well; the original doors were found to be too deteriorated upon inspection of the car, when donation to Loftus was in negotiation during the mid-80’s. The arrival of these parts means that 1014 will now return to the workshop; allowing one of the new MG sets to be installed, along with new batteries. Once this work is complete, the tram will then be tested before finally returning to regular service.

7th March 2020

After spending 11 months sitting in the Display Hall, PCC 1014 was finally moved back into the workshop for installation of its new MG set, which operated satisfactorily during testing. This task was mostly completed by the end of the day, with the only remaining works left to do being the fastening of two plate bolts, re-connection of the motor leads, and the re-installation of the MG set cover tray and air vents. With new batteries for the tram expected to arrive soon, vehicle testing is likely to be underway within the next few weeks.

Video: Michael Hatton

18th March 2020

After two years of work, PCC 1014 is now once again electrically complete. Rod Sanders completed the task of fitting and connecting the new batteries, which had arrived the weekend before, whilst Bill Parkinson connected up the new MG motor set leads to the car. This leaves tram testing and driver re-training the only major tasks left to complete before the car can re-enter traffic.