Sunset in the Sunset

Our friends at Streetsblog San Francisco unearthed a wonderful photo by an old friend of MSR, Leroy Demery, Jr.  It was taken in 1972 at the L-Taraval terminal at 46th and Wawona, and features Muni’s streetcar No. 1 at the height of its restored glory.

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No. 1 had been restored to its original 1912 appearance for Muni’s 50th anniversary in 1962. This included painting the streetcar back into its original gray and red livery with gold striping and lettering (it wore Muni’s green and cream “Wings” livery when originally retired from service in 1951.)  It also involved removing the sash in the end section side windows (all Muni’s early streetcars were delivered this way, but these end-section openings were glazed within a few years after passengers rebelled against the cold and drafts).

What’s most striking about this picture, though, is the pristine condition of No. 1, ten full years after its restoration. Plain and simple, that’s because the streetcar was stored under cover (the old Geneva streetcar sheds) when not in use. But within another decade of this shot, the decrepit Geneva sheds were razed and Muni’s streetcars were stored outdoors. It’s obvious the difference covered storage makes.

That’s why Market Street Railway has fought for the last ten years to restore covered storage in Geneva, a project now funded and contracted, with long-delayed construction set to start within a few months. Way too late for No. 1, which, after deteriorating shockingly in the past decade, is now at Brookville Equipment Company in Pennsylvania going through an expensive restoration (all that lead-based paint you see here has now been removed from the car).

At least it will have covered storage when it gets back home. It’s your memberships and donations to MSR that let us carry on the advocacy that is bearing fruit.

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The 2010 Calendar is Here!

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Our 2010 Museums in Motion streetcar and cable car calendar has arrived and is now on sale at the San Francisco Railway Museum and online.

If you join Market Street Railway at the $100 and above levels, you will receive the Museums in Motion calendar as a thank you for supporting historic transit in San Francisco.

More than half the photos in this year’s calendar came from submissions to our flickr community where we’ll soon be putting out the call for submissions to next year’s calendar.

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2010 Museums in Motion Calendar »

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Streetcar Restoration Passes Board of Supervisors!

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1006 at 33rd Avenue and Anza on the old
B-Geary line around 1952.

Today, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to approve the contract to renovate or remanufacture 16 PCC streetcars to add to Muni’s F-line fleet and help prepare for the coming E-line. Among the streetcars to be restored is No. 1006 which will again wear the original “Wings” livery in the photo.
Market Street Railway has been advocating this project for more than 10 years, and extends thanks to all at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency who have helped make it a reality.
We will publish a detailed story on the PCC restoration process in our newsletter, Inside Track, which will go to press in a couple of days. You can receive Inside Track by becoming a member of Market Street Railway.

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Almost There On Streetcar Restoration

In case you didn’t tune into today’s Board of Supervisor’s Budget & Finance Committee meeting on SFGTV, which isn’t as boring as it might sound, committee reviewed the pending contract to restore 16 additional historic PCC streetcars.
After some questions, including the safety of the historic streetcars to which MTA’s Judson True stressed that none of the recent accidents appeared to be caused by mechanical problems, the committee unanimously recommended approval of this contract to the full Board of Supervisors (San Francisco’s city council) at next Tuesday’s meeting.
I won’t rehash how important this contract is to keep the F-Market & Wharves line running, but the ever growing number of bus substitutions are not popular with either the tourists or locals who’d rather wait for a streetcar than take a bus. Nobody benefits from running empty buses and too few (and way overcrowded) streetcars.

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PCC Streetcar Restoration Contract Has One More Step

Octoferret photo. The SFMTA Board of Directors has approved an $18 million contract to restore 16 additional PCC streetcars, but it still faces one more step before it can be awarded: the Board of Supervisors. The Budget and Finance Committee of the Supervisors will consider the item on Wednesday, August 12 at 11 a.m. in Room 250, City Hall. Those who agree with Market Street Railway that this is a critical project for historic transit should consider sharing their views… — Read More

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Second Melbourne Tram En Route

Photo courtesy Ian Green 916 is not Just Sacramento’s area code, it’s now also the number of Muni’s latest historic streetcar, a 1946 Melbourne tram now somewhere in the South Seas bound for San Francisco. The tram is a gift from the Victorian State government (Melbourne is the capital of Victoria) to San Francisco, a donation facilitated by Market Street Railway. Tram No. 916, shown being loaded in Australia in this photo courtesy Ian Green, was part of Melbourne’s “ready… — Read More

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F-line accident at Noe Street

Jamison Wieser photo. There was an accident on the F-line during rush hour tonight.  Here’s the Chronicle write-up. According to a witness who contacted us directly, PCC No. 1007 had unloaded passengers outbound at Market and Noe and was waiting to make the turn on to Noe, en route to the Castro terminal. A small SUV sat behind No. 1007 in the left hand turn lane. Behind the SUV, Milan No. 1893, which rammed into the SUV, pushing it into… — Read More

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