Merger Day, 73 years ago

September 29, 1944 — the privately-owned Market Street Railway Company turned over all its assets, including more than 500 streetcars, to the publicly-owned San Francisco Municipal Railway, following approval of San Francisco voters to buy the private company.

Mayor Roger Lapham personally piloted the first ex-Market Street Railway Company streetcar as newspaper photographers clicked shots.

Three years later, Lapham tried to kill off the Powell Street cable cars, included in the purchase of Market Street Railway. A grassroots citizens’ movement, led by Friedel Klussmann, handed him a huge defeat at the polls. And the rest is history.

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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

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.


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.


  • 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


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


  • 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!