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Photo of the Moment: Down Under the Bridge

Thumbnail image for 916_4th St bridge 022013 JW.jpg

Copyright 2013, Jeremy Whiteman.

Muni’s shops continue to make gradual progress on 1946 Melbourne tram No. 916, a 2009 gift to the City of San Francisco from the Australian State of Victoria. The retired tram needed extensive modifications to meet Muni and California operating standards, and to operate on the opposite side of the road from its native city. (Door controls, for example, had to be reversed.)

Market Street Railway has assisted in procuring needed parts. With staffing very tight, the work has moved forward gradually as time was available. On February 19, though, the tram emerged from the electronics shop at Green Division and motored across town under its own power, following the F-line, the future E-line, and finally the T-line (here crossing the historic Fourth Street Bridge) to Metro East at Illinois and 25th Street, where its wheels are being reprofiled to Muni specifications. No firm date for it to join the fleet, but it is coming along nicely.

Your support, as a member or donor, makes it possible for us to help Muni acquire and restore historic streetcars and trams like this one. Thanks.

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Once this magnificent car joins the operating fleet I predict it will instantly become one of the most popular cars in San Francisco. It’s hard to beat a good SW-6. I’ve ridden many a mile in 916 and its’ sisters and they are top notch. For those who expect it to be like W2 496, the two couldn’t be more different.

Where are the differences in the wheel-profiles between the Melbourners and Muni-Wheels? Is there a drawing somewhere to compare the wheels?

Btw.: It’s nice to see another car from “down under” being on the way to “up there”.

We have several Melbourne trams seemingly available here in Seattle… They been under blue tarps or in one or another barn for a number of years, and I’d bet are unlikely to ever turn a wheel here again. It is a sordid tale, details to Byzantine to understand by normal mortals

I hope they are doing the right thing with the wheel profile. I saw profiles for both systems and they looked the same to me, though I am no expert.

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