Built 1934 • Operational • Tribute livery
The "boat tram" on San Francisco's Embarcadero. Bill Storage photo.
This streetcar turns more heads than any other in Muni's vintage fleet. It brings smiles to so many who see it sail by -- its nautical air whistle gaily tooting.
It comes from Blackpool, England's venerable seaside resort, one of twelve built for that city in 1934. For many years, it ran along the coast to Fleetwood along the coastal promenade, sharing the tracks with a wide variety of unusual English-built equipment. In the fall, Blackpool trams are specially decorated for the "illuminations," with elaborate lighting making the cars sparkle as the sun sets over the Irish Sea.
No. 228 in Philadelphia in 1976 with a PCC painted for the bicentennial. Art Curtis photo.
This particular tram actually crossed the Atlantic twice. In 1976, it delighted Philadelphians as part of that city's bicentennial celebration. Returned to Blackpool, it sat unused because its wheel span had been widened to Philadelphia's broad gauge.
After a sister boat tram was successfully leased for the first Trolley Festival from the Western Railway Museum in Solano County, Market Street Railway members went after one that Muni could own, and struck gold with car no. 228, which Blackpool donated to San Francisco as a gesture of friendship. Muni crafts workers restored the car to its Blackpool look and gauge.