Railway Museum Exhibits & Features

The San Francisco Railway Museum features both permanent and special exhibits that entertain and inform visitors about how streetcars and cable cars built the unique city we know today.

Current Exhibits

Car vs Car Exhibit

Car Vs Car: How The Automobile Impacted Streetcars

In San Francisco, what some cities call “œtrolleys” or “œtrams” have always been called “streetcars”, or before World War II, simply “cars”. Back then, automobiles were often called “machines” here.

But as auto ownership grew, the “machines” began jousting for precious street space with streetcars all over San Francisco – and other American cities as well. That conflict would lead to dramatic changes in how people got around town.

Come find out how these these “machines” made history!

Take Me Out Exh

Take Me Out!

For almost a century in San Francisco, the ‘family car’ was a streetcar or cable car that ran on rails, not just for commuting or shopping, but for any trip that stretched farther than a few blocks from home. Riding the rails around town wasn’t just a way to get there; it was an enjoyable escape.

Market Street Railway, in collaboration with Muni and the San Francisco Public Library, celebrates the days when the streetcar was just the ticket to experience art, athletics, and the outdoors — a ride to freedom and fun for a nickel — in a new exhibit at the San Francisco Railway Museum entitled Take Me Out.

The exhibit features vintage photos and artifacts of bygone San Francisco destinations served by streetcar, such as Playland, Seals Stadium, Sutro Baths, Fleishhacker Pool, the Fox Theater, and more. An accompanying video mixes vintage motion picture film of San Francisco at the height of its streetcar era with remembrances of men and women who rode the cars to attractions all over town.