Successful Heritage Weekend

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Muni Heritage Weekend September 26-27 was a big success, with thousands of riders sampling the vintage streetcars, buses, and cable cars Muni rolled out this year. We noticed more families and kids this year, including young Reed Bell, in the window above, who already has an encyclopedic knowledge of San Francisco transit.

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Buses ran every 15 minutes from our San Francisco Railway Museum to Union Square and back, each carrying a great display of vintage photographs from the SFMTA Archives put together by Jeremy Menzies.

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A vintage streetcar shuttle service connecting the museum and Pier 39 every 20 minutes or so. The two Blackpool, England boat trams (No. 233, above) ran together in passenger service for the first time, joined by the oldest vehicle in Muni’s heritage fleet, 1896 single-truck San Francisco streetcar No. 578 (top photo). Meanwhile, vintage Muni streetcars Nos. 1 and 130 ran as part of regular E-Embarcadero service, along with Melbourne tram No. 496. Market Street Railway is advocating for vintage double-end cars such as these to be a regular part of E-line service.

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One-of-a-kind O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car No. 42 also packed them in on the California Street line.

Market Street Railway and SFMTA representatives will evaluate the event in the next few weeks and look at how future events might be even better. Thanks to all the Muni operators, maintainers, and managers and the Market Street Railway volunteers who helped make this the big success it was.

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Heritage Weekend: Be There

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One of the world’s oldest operating streetcars, built 10 years BEFORE the 1906 earthquake, will play a starring role in this year’s Muni Heritage Weekend, September 26-27. Market Street Railway Company single-truck “dinky” No. 578 (above, surrounded by fans at a previous Heritage Weekend), built in 1896, will be running FREE shuttles from our San Francisco Railway Museum at 77 Steuart Street to Pier 39 and back along the scenic Embarcadero.

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But that’s just the start. The newest member of the vintage fleet, Muni’s latest addition to the heritage fleet, Blackpool, England boat tram No. 233, built in 1934, will join the dinky on the FREE museum-Pier 39 shuttle. Thanks to a generous donation by the Thoresen Foundation and shipping by FedEx Trade Networks, Market Street Railway was able to acquire No. 233 and donate it to Muni to join its near-twin, No. 228, a popular member of Muni’s heritage fleet for the last 30 years.

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And there’s more.  In 1912, America’s first big city publicly owned transit company, the Municipal Railway, debuted on Geary Street, to compete with for-profit competitors.  Muni’s very first streetcar, beautifully restored No. 1, will be on the Embarcadero as well.  It’s scheduled to be out both days, with two other vintage cars, Muni’s own No. 130 (1914) and Melbourne No. 496 (1928) out one day each. Regular Muni fares apply to these vintage cars, since they’re expected to fill regular runs on the E-Embarcadero (and perhaps F-Market & Wharves) line during the weekend. Note, too, that we expect restored 1948 double-end Muni PCC No. 1006 and 1952 single-end No. 1040, both painted in the classic “wings” livery (shown below on the bus) to be in regular service as well: 1006 on the E, 1040 on the F.

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Did we mention buses?  Three historic buses will be operating at 15-minute intervals from the museum to Union Square and back via Steuart, Market, Sutter, Mason, Market, Spear, Mission and Steuart.  Trolley coaches No. 776 (Marmon-Herrington, 1950) and No. 5300 (Flyer, 1975) will be joined by classic GMC “New Look” No. 3287 (1969). These three buses encompass the past three standard Muni liveries: green and cream “wings” (776), maroon and yellow, borrowed from the California Street Cable Car line (3287) and the famed Landor white, gold, and orange (5300). BONUS: Muni will debut new historic photo displays in the vintage buses.

DSC_8917Oh, and one-of-a-kind O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car No. 42, built in 1906 and reacquired and cosmetically restored by Market Street Railway, with mechanical restoration by Muni, will be on the California Street cable car line both days. It will be joined by California Cable Car No. 51, the last car to run on the O’Farrell, Jones & Hude line in 1954 and then, after cable car restructuring, the first to run on the shortened California line in 1957. Regular cable car fares apply for rides on these two cars…but note, you can save on the paid rides by buying a one-day Muni Passport at the museum at the beginning of the day.

Both days, September 26 and 27, Saturday and Sunday, the action starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m.  All day, we’ll have special memorabilia sales at our museum, along with displays and some great new merchandise.  (Come and get started on your holiday shopping!)

 

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Boost for E-line Extension to Mission Bay, Dogpatch

Vintage streetcars already run through Mission Bay and Dogpatch on their way in and out of service, so why not run E-line historic streetcars here?

Vintage streetcars already run through Mission Bay and Dogpatch on their way in and out of service, so why not run E-line historic streetcars here?

Market Street Railway has been strongly advocating for extensions of the E-Embarcadero vintage streetcar line west from Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Mason, and south from the Caltrain Depot at Fourth and King. The southern extension would use the existing T-line tracks via Fourth, Channel, and Third Streets to serve the proposed Giants’ Mission Rock development and Warriors’ Arena, UCSF Mission Bay, three new shoreline parks, and thousands of new residences now coming on line or in the pipeline in Mission Bay and Dogpatch.

A new opinion piece in the Examiner offers strong support for our idea. Penned by J. R. Eppler and Tony Kelly, the leaders of the influential Potrero Hill Boosters neighborhood group, it notes the benefits of the southern E-line extension to residents and businesses alike. The Potrero Hill Boosters join neighborhood and small business groups in  Dogpatch and Mission Bay/South Beach/Rincon Hill in supporting the extension. In fact, it was neighborhood initiative that led us to extend our vision for the E-line all the way through Dogpatch. (We originally envisioned an extended E-line turning back near Pier 70, but neighbors urged us to consider the projected explosive residential growth from there to Islais Creek, and we agreed.)

As the Examiner story points out, the historic streetcars currently run this route every day anyway, going to and from Muni Metro East at 26th and Illinois, where they are currently stored. maps vietnam An existing, underused loop track through that facility could provide a terminal for the extended E-line at no capital cost, or a new terminal track could easily be constructed on Illinois between Cesar Chavez and 25th Street, leveraging the existing switches at Third Street to keep costs to a minimum.

There’s no question more transit is needed in this fastest growing part of San Francisco.  We’re pleased that the Potrero Hill Boosters see the E-line as an important part of the solution.

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K is for Kenosha

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Big celebration in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Saturday, September 12, “Streetcar Day,” as they welcomed their newest PCC streetcar for their two-mile loop line from the commuter rail station to the new housing developments along Lake Michigan.

Local angle? Just look at the paint job! Like San Francisco, Kenosha paints its PCC streetcars in different liveries that pay tribute to some of the 30 North American cities that operated this, the most successful streetcar design in history. For their latest car (which, like most of the fleet, came from Toronto), they’re honoring — San Francisco, adopting the classic mid-century green and cream “Wings” livery, modeled in San Francisco on several Muni cars, including No. 1040, the last PCC built in North America.  In a clever touch, the head sign (route and destination listing above the windshield) says K-Kenosha/Beach.  (It does in fact loop through a beach park on the lakefront.)

In a collaborative gesture, Market Street Railway and Muni sent materials, including the old Muni logo (the initials S.F. circled by the words “Municipal Railway”) and F-line maps for display inside to the Kenosha Streetcar Society, our counterpart in Kenosha.  They’ve done a great job there.

Market Street Railway members: look in your mailbox in about a week, and you’ll see an exclusive story on the plucky Kenosha streetcar operation, with great photos, part of the latest edition of our member newsletter, Inside Track. You can join Market Street Railway now and get that issue, plus the last three, to catch up on exclusive coverage.

Congratulations to Kenosha, our Wisconsin PCC cousins! แผนที่นำทาง

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F-line Buses, No E-line Labor Day Weekend

  Suddenly, unexpectedly, with only two days notice to business and community stakeholders, including Market Street Railway, Muni’s parent, SFMTA, says it will replace all F-line streetcars this Labor Day Weekend with buses. Last weekend, Muni put out a notice that E-Embarcadero service this Labor Day Weekend would not operate, but there was no mention of the F-line switch. The stated reason for the “bustitution” of the F-line on virtually no notice is that construction work is going on at… — Read More

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F-line Turns 20

On September 1, 1995, the permanent F-Market streetcar line opened on Market Street with a parade up Market Street. The parade lineup was led by 1934 Blackpool boat tram No. 228, as captured in this photo by Peter Ehrlich. Breaking with the tradition of earlier mayors, such as “Sunny Jim” Rolph and Dianne Feinstein, Mayor Frank Jordan chose not to pilot the first car himself, the former police chief riding instead in a vintage police car at the head of the… — Read More

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