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Best Muni Heritage Weekend Ever!

It had more vintage vehicles, more riders, and more fun than ever. We’re talking about the sixth annual Muni Heritage Weekend September 9-10, 2017.

It also had some of the best photos we’ve seen over the years. The great one above, showing Martin (3) and Catherine (2) Andreev looking out the back window of 1950 trolley coach 776, is from Amy Osborne, part of a great photo essay she put together on sfgate.com.

Great news pieces from Sal Casteneda on KTVU-Fox 2, KGO 7, Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez in the Examiner and Ida Mojadad in SF Weekly brought out lots of curious first-time visitors, especially families with young kids. We were ready for them, with a kids’ activity area, led by our board member Katie Haverkamp. (That’s Katie in the photo below, taken by fellow Board Member Paul Wells, instructing a guest how to “pin the part on the streetcar.”

This being the centennial year for Muni buses, the SFMTA folks outdid themselves to operate seven vintage coaches, built between 1938 and 1990. Additionally, the crackerjack maintenance team at Woods Motor Coach Division gave us a peek at the past-as-future by displaying 1956 Mack diesel coach 2230, gorgeously restored and operable but awaiting re-installation of its interior. It should be carrying passengers next year. (Our non-profit has helped SFMTA with the Mack, buying a set of new tires and other needs.)

Muni posed the Mack next to one of its newest hybrid-electric coaches, which carried a great display on the history of buses at Muni.

On the streetcar side, 1896 “dinky” 578 and 1934 Blackpool, England “boat” 228 packed them in all weekend shuttling between our museum and the Wharf, and vintage Muni Cars 1 and 130, along with PCCs 1051 and 1060, took turns recreating the original J-Church line out Market and down through Noe Valley, helping celebrate its centennial. Both days, 1929 Melbourne W2 tram 496 ran the E-line in regular service.

On the cable car side, venerable O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde line 42 brought its gorgeous self to the California line again, gripped ever so lovingly by Val Lupiz! (This photo, by member Todd Glickman, who came out from Boston for the event, shows the 42 next to 1990 Orion coach 9010, signed for a never-launched California-Hyde cable car line!)

There was much more, too. Our members will receive a complete report in our quarterly newsletter, Inside Track, due out in early October. You’ll see coverage of our special Operator’s Circle exclusive tour of Muni’s new LRVs, which we coupled with a twilight boat tram ride. If you’re not a member, join now!

Thanks to all the great team at SFMTA, led by Ed Reiskin and John Haley, with Communications led by Candace Sue and Janis Yuen, all the operators and maintainers and inspectors who made the weekend so great. And on the Market Street Railway side, special thanks to Alison Cant, our museum manager, and Katie Haverkamp, our celebration committee chair, along with all our wonderful volunteers.

Next year, we hope to combine Muni Heritage Weekend with Transit Week (upcoming at the end of September). We’ll let you know dates as soon as they’re set. See you then!

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Come On Down for Heritage Weekend!

Left to right, Muni buses built in 2017, 1969, 1985, 1938, 1975 at Woods Division, September 8, 2017

Here’s the lineup for Muni Heritage Weekend, September 9-10, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

All operations either start from or pass by our San Francisco Railway Museum, 77 Steuart Street between Market and Mission, across from the Ferry Building.

Important note: What’s on the street each day and day part, along with departure schedules, will be posted on old-fashioned schedule boards outside the museum.

STREETCARS

Celebrating the centennial of the J-Church line, Muni Car 1 (1912) and PCC 1051 (1946, honoring Harvey Milk) will operate both days from the museum via the original J-line route out Market and down Church to the original J-line terminal at 30th Street and Church. Regular fares apply.

FREE waterfront shuttle service from the museum to the Wharf Area provided by:

E-line service from the Wharf to Caltrain via AT&T Park provided at regular fares by:

These runs are in addition to regular F-line service.

CABLE CARS

  • Original 1906 O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car 42 will be running on the California Street line (Drumm Street terminal two blocks from the museum)
  • All nine historic livery Powell Street cable cars will be in service, representing a colorful palette of paint jobs that these cars wore from the line opening in 1888 through today

BUSES

Celebrating the Centennial of buses at Muni!

  • Trolley Coaches 776 (Marmon-Herrington, 1950) and 5300 (Flyer, 1975) will offer free rides between the museum and Washington Square in North Beach via the historic 41-line wires
  • Motor coaches 042 (White, 1938), 3287 (GMC, 1969), 4154 (AM General, 1975), 4574 (Flyer, 1985) and 9010 (Orion, 1990) will offer free rides between the museum and Levi’s Plaza via Sansome and Battery Streets
  • Mack Motor Coach 2230 (1956) currently under restoration, will be displayed in the plaza opposite the museum as a tribute to the highly skilled crafts workers at Muni’s Woods Motor Coach Division, who have brought it back to life (it is expected to operate next year)
  • A brand new New Flyer 40′ hybrid-electric bus will also be on display to celebrate the renewal of Muni’s bus fleet

SPECIAL EVENTS — In the Plaza opposite the museum

  • Special sale of vintage transit books and memorabilia
  • Games and activities for kids
  • Displays of transit artifacts
  • Motorized Cable Car 62 (ex-Jones Street Shuttle) will be on display for kids to ring the bell

IN THE MUSEUM

  • Exhibit: “Streetcars to Buses”, showing how Muni converted from a primarily rail operation to a primarily rubber tired one
  • 10% off all museum gift shop merchandise for SFMTA employees showing their identification
  • Transit book signings by local authors — Note: Market Street Railway Members receive 10% off these prices; you can join at the museum
    • Saturday and Sunday, 12pm – Peter Ehrlich – San Francisco’s F-Line (softbound) $89.95
    • Saturday, 1:30pm – Angelo Figone – Northwestern Pacific Railroad: Lifeline of the Redwood Empire (hardbound) $89.95
    • Saturday and Sunday, 2:30pm – Emiliano Echeverria & Michael Dolgushkin – San Francisco’s Transportation Octopus (e-book, the comprehensive history of the Market Street Railway Company of 1893) $39.95
    • Saturday and Sunday, 3:30pm: Rick Laubscher, On Track: A Field Guide to San Francisco’s Historic Streetcars and Cable Cars (newly updated with the latest liveries) $14.95
      Sunday 1:30pm – Mike Healy – BART: The Dramatic History of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (softbound) $20.00
      2:30pm – Emiliano Echeverria & Michael Dolgushkin – San Francisco’s Transportation Octopus (e-book) $39.95

See you there!

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Vintage Buses on the 7-Haight Friday, September 8

As part of its celebration of 100 years of buses at Muni, vintage motor coaches will make a rare passenger-carrying appearance on the 7-Haight line between the Ferry and Golden Gate Park, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday September 8.

Here’s the schedule:

  • At 10 a.m., 1970 General Motors coach 3287 (above) will leave the Ferry Terminal on Steuart Street to Stanyan Street via Market and Haight, and return.
  • It will be followed by 1975 AM General coach 4154 departing the Ferry Terminal at 12:20 p.m.
  • 1990 Orion 30′ coach 9010 will conclude the day with a run leaving the Ferry at 2:40 p.m.

Rides are free.

It’s all a prelude to the big Muni Heritage Weekend.  Read about that here.

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Muni Bus Centennial Celebrated at Heritage Weekend

Muni Superintendent Fred Boeken poses with Muni’s first five motor coaches (White Motor Co.) outside Geary Division, 1918. Photo from SFMTA Archives.

Muni operated its first bus on September 1, 1917. Their ace archivist and photographer, Jeremy Menzies, put together a great post with lots of photos that’s definitely worth a look.

We got a bit of a head start on the Muni bus centennial with an exhibit we opened in March at our San Francisco Railway Museum, telling the story of how buses came to replace streetcars as the city’s dominant transit vehicle. It’s still up, and it’s one more reason to come down to the museum for Muni Heritage Weekend, September 9-10 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

But don’t just come down to look at the display. Come down to ride and view actual vintage buses, because they’re taking center stage this year in honor of their centennial at Muni. Both trolley coaches and motor coaches will be offering the public rides that Saturday and Sunday.

Muni’s oldest surviving bus, built in 1938 by White Motor Company and numbered 042, restored to its original orange and black paint scheme, will run from the museum to Levi’s Plaza and back, as will 1969 GMC “Fishbowl” 3287, painted in the new livery of that day, which was modeled on the maroon worn by the California Street Cable Cars.

Newer buses running along with them on the Levi’s Plaza route will be 1975 AM General 4154 and 1990 Orion 9010.

But perhaps the most attention will go to Muni’s newest restored motor coach, 1956 Mack 2230. It will be on display in the plaza next to the museum. We won’t spoil the surprise with a photo of the restoration here (besides which, the Woods Division shops are still working on it) but here’s what it looked like during its first life. The Mack will sit side by side with a brand new Muni hybrid-electric motor coach, allowing visitors to compare 60 years of bus technology.

Two vintage trolley coaches will carry riders from the Museum to Washington Square in North Beach, including 67-year old Marmon-Herrington 776, which will be joined by 1975 Flyer 5300.

While the buses take a bow, there’s still a full slate of rail action. The J-Church line is celebrating its own centennial, so Muni’s very first streetcar, 1912 Car 1, will run from the Museum out Market and down the J-line to 30th Street on several trips each day, joined by a PCC streetcar of the type that ran the J for 30 years.

Additionally, the oldest surviving San Francisco streetcar, 578, built for the original Market Street Railway in 1896, will carry passengers from the museum to the Wharf and back, joined by one of the popular 1934 open-top “boat trams” from Blackpool, England. And 1929 Melbourne, Australia tram 496 will operate on the E-Embarcadero line.


Finally, the last surviving O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car to wear that line’s livery, Car 42 in its original 1906 livery, will be operating on the California Street cable car line, just two blocks from the museum, both days.

We’ll have a special sale of hard-to-find rail books and memorabilia both days, plus book signings on transit issues, including BART (by Mike Healy), the F-line (Peter Ehrlich), the Market Street Railway of 1893 (Emilio Echeverria) and the overall heritage operation (Rick Laubscher). We’ll post the schedule for these a few days before the weekend.

This is a Heritage Weekend you don’t want to miss!

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Our Spies are Everywhere!

 

Even Truckee, where John Griffin snapped these two shots of the latest PCC to be rehabilitated by Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania. The photos were forwarded to us by Market Street Railway member James Giraudo.

Car 1055 should be at Muni Metro Center by the time you read this. It is the sixth of 16 PCC cars covered by the current rehabilitation contract with Brookville. The contract covers the original F-line streetcar fleet from 1995, including 13 single end streetcars that Muni procured used from Philadelphia’s SEPTA. This car, numbered 2122 in Philadelphia, looks sparkling new in the same green and cream paint scheme, with red trim, that it was delivered to Philadelphia wearing in 1948.

Meanwhile, the last PCC to arrive, No. 1062, now painted to honor Pittsburgh Railways Co., is moving through its 1000-mile “burn-in” period, where components are tested before the car is accepted for service by Muni. The shops recently added the PRCo logo just to the rear of the center door, provided to them by us, with thanks to our friends at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, which gave us detailed advice on the Pittsburgh livery we adopted.

The next PCC due back from Brookville is Baltimore 1063, now painted in its original teal (or is it cyan — heck, blue-green) livery, quite a change from the later yellow livery it wore in San Francisco when it was first restored in 1995. That yellow was actually quite a bit more, er, YELLOW than the orangey hue actually adopted by Baltimore. We hope the new colors are more accurate, but a head’s up — that color from back in the days of lead-based paints, is very difficult to get just right, even with the great help we got from the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. We don’t have an anticipated arrival date for the 1063, but as we say, our spies are everywhere, and we’ll post a photo when we get one.

 

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Great LA Times Story: Attractions Along the F-line

The Los Angeles Times ran a great Sunday travel story on the F-line.  That’s a photo from it, above.  Here’s the link.  Enjoy!

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No Cable Cars, F-line Streetcars Saturday, Aug. 26

UPDATE, Saturday, August 26, 9:30 a.m. — Even though the “white nationalist” gathering at Crissy Field was cancelled and the city subsequently barred them from moving it to Alamo Square, buses are still running on the F, instead of streetcars. Streetcars are running on the E-line this morning.

Because of the planned protests and counter-protests around San Francisco this coming Saturday, August 26, Muni has decided to replace all three cable car lines and the F-Market & Wharves streetcar line with buses all day.

As of this writing, the E-Embarcadero is still slated to operate with streetcars between Caltrain and Fisherman’s Wharf along the waterfront, but it is subject to rerouting if threatened with disruption.

A growing number of counter-protests around the city have been scheduled in response to the National Park Service issuing a permit to a white supremacy group to hold a rally at Crissy Field in the Presidio. One counter-protest will start in the Castro and march down Market Street to Civic Center. It is presumed F-line bus service will be rerouted during the march.

In recent years, top Muni management has been very protective of the cable cars in particular, pulling them out of service during heavy storms and demonstrations that might lead to damage against the antique vehicles.

Here’s more on Muni’s decision. 

The Saturday changes will NOT affect our “Bay to Breakers” charter of Muni’s very first streetcar from our San Francisco Railway Museum to the Zoo on Sunday, August 27.  There is still room on this great excursion. Sign up here!

 

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Trolley Excursion, August 27, 2017

Come ride Muni’s very first streetcar, car 1 built in 1912, on this nearly 4-hour excursion on the F, J, K, L, and M lines ranging all over San Francisco. The excursion is on Sunday, August 27, 1:30-5:30pm.

Destinations include: Market Street, Civic Center, the new Mint, the Castro, Dolores Park, Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, Glen Park, West Portal (entrance to the Twin Peaks Tunnel opened in 1918, one of the world’s longest streetcar tunnels at 2.27 miles), and the San Francisco Zoo.

Car 1 had its inaugural run out Geary Street on December 28, 1912, piloted by then Mayor James Rolph, Jr. It ran for 39 years until 1951 when it was retired from service. In 1962, it was restored to its original condition to serve as the centerpiece of Muni’s 50th anniversary. Car 1 was used during the summer trolley festivals during the 1980s and became part of the new F-Market line fleet in 1995.

Seating is limited to 48 passengers (the seating capacity of the car), so sign up today. For this long excursion, the rate is $100 for members of the public, but Market Street Railway members receive a 25% discount at check-out via a coupon-code. All proceeds go to support Market Street Railway in its work to keep San Francisco’s transit history alive.The trip begins and ends at the San Francisco Railway Museum at 77 Steuart Street just opposite the Embarcadero from the landmark Ferry Building.

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2018 Calendar Now On Sale

It may be our best calendar yet. Thirteen powerful images of Muni’s historic cable cars and streetcars in action on the streets of San Francisco, taken by some great photographers.

On top of that, there’s a special page telling the story of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as we celebrate its centennial year. And 12 smaller archival photos, one on each month’s date page, chronicling the building and operation of what was for decades the longest streetcar tunnel in America.

Our photographers this year include Lee Carlson,Traci Cox, Rick Laubscher, Jeremy Menzies, Fr. Kevin Mueller, Joel Solomon, Jeremy Whiteman, and Wayne Worden. We’ll run profiles of many of these photographers in future posts.

You can get this great calendar in person at our San Francisco Railway Museum and save shipping charges. Or you can order it here at our online store.

These make great holiday gifts, so stock up in advance!

 

 

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Happy Centennial, J-Church

 

On August 11, 1917, Mayor James “Sunny Jim” Rolph presided over the opening of Muni’s J-Church line. This line brought Muni service the Noe Valley and Dolores Heights areas, in competition with United Railroads’ privately owned streetcar lines on Guerrero Street and on 24th Street.

Over the past century, most types of Muni cars ran the J-line regularly, especially the B-types (including preserved Cars 130 and 162. PCCs began exclusively serving the J-line in 1958, followed by Boeing LRVs in the early 1980s, then the current Breda LRVs, and in the next few years the new Siemens LRVs. Also fan trips love this line and charters can frequently be seen today.

The J line had its own four track section from Market St to 16th St. until after World War II, after an agreement could not be reached with United Railroads to share the 22-Fillmore line’s tracks on that part of Church. In 1946 the J was detoured over the old MSR 9 line, Valencia, Mission, 29th St to Noe, due to construction on Church Street.

To celebrate the J-line’s centennial, Muni’s first streetcar, Car 1, and the last PCC ever built in North America, Car 1040 (which served the J-line for 30 years) will offer rides at regular fares from our San Francisco Railway Museum to the J’s original terminal at 30th and Church Streets on Muni Heritage Weekend, September 9-10, starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m.

If you’re a Market Street Railway Member, you should have received the latest issue of our newsletter, Inside Track, with an array of great historic photos of the J-line’s first century.  (If you’re not a member, you can join, and we’ll send it to you right away.) Also, Bob Strachan, an MSR volunteer archivist, has shared a great bunch of J-line photos on our Facebook Group. (Search on Market Street Railway, and chose the GROUP, rather than the page.)

Happy 100th Birthday, J-line!

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