Call for 2012 Calendar Photos

As many who read this site know well, Market Street Railway is a member supported non-profit organization and the streetcar and cable car preservation partner of the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). We receive no government funding and depend on membership dues, donations, and proceeds from sales of our merchandise to support our preservation and transit advocacy.
Our annual Museums in Motion streetcar and cable car calendar is a very important part of our fundraising and we would like your help putting together our next calendar, because 2012 is a special year.

A century of Muni

In 1912 the San Francisco Municipal Railway opened it’s first streetcar line on Geary Street and became the world’s first public transit system in a major city. Three years earlier voters had decided they were going to rebuild San Francisco better than it was before, by publicly funding a transit service that would better serve the people.
It would become the dominant model around the world as private transit operators declined.
In 2012 we plan to tell the story of "The People’s Railway" in our Museums in Motion streetcar and cable car calendar. Help us by sharing your photos from the first century of Muni in our flickr group.

Submit your photos

We’re particularly looking for high-quality photos of currently running F-line streetcars and cable cars for the feature photo, which all but fills an 11″ x 16″ page each month, a great format for showing off your shots. The main picture will be paired with historic black and white photos on the facing (calendar grid) page, relating to the same theme, location, or time period. We’re looking for more unconventional perspectives, framing and composition. Over the last few years we’ve been getting away from 3/4 shots and the feedback has been that these are some of the most interesting photos. Here is what some of the 11″x 16″ main page photos in our 2011 calendar looked like:

We also will not be limiting it to vehicles painted in Muni colors because liveries of other cities have been part of the fleet, and part of the fabric of San Francisco, for over a quarter of a century. We are limiting our feature photos to only streetcars and cable cars though, not modern light rail vehicles or buses.
To submit a photo all you need to do is post it on flickr (a free photo sharing site) and tag it msrcalendarsubmission.
There’s no limit to how many photos you may submit by tagging msrcalendarsubmission, but please help us out by selecting what you think are your best and not simply tagging every photo.
Photos should be landscape (horizontally) oriented, in color, and at least 3,000 x 2,000 pixels. We know many of you don’t post high-resolution versions to Flickr, but any photos submitted for publication should be available as camera original JPEG or RAW files without watermarks.
Photographers are always fully credited with email address or website published in the calendar and are given five calendars as a thank you. Please leave a comment if you have questions or suggestions for our next calendar.

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Volunteers Urgently Needed (Sunday 10/3)


Market Street Railway urgently needs volunteers for the Castro Street Fair this coming Sunday, October 3.
We need volunteers to staff our booth where we will be selling merchandise and recruiting new members. Shifts are flexible from 10:30-6:30 and anyone willing to work 4 hours will receive a free t-shirt. Contact us at if you are available.

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City Guides Streetcar History Tour (Oct 31)

Market Street Railway and San Francisco City Guides are collaborating on a memorable and unique tour along Muni’s historic F-line on Sunday, October 31st. Take part in a festive and informative trip through history!
Join tour guides Ethan Chickering from City Guides and Philip Hoffman from Market Street Railway for an exclusive event aboard one of our “Museums in Motion”. This unique tour celebrating the City’s rich transit history will begin at the San Francisco Railway Museum and will take place from 1-3pm.
Come aboard a vintage streetcar, learn how transit shaped San Francisco and enjoy Halloween in historical high style! Discover interesting facts about famous Fisherman’s Wharf, traditional North Beach, the scenic Embarcadero and colorful Ferry Plaza, the busy Financial District, world famous Powell & Market, classic Civic Center, imposing Mint Hill and the lively Castro. Period costumes are highly encouraged!
Refreshments will be provided upon conclusion of the tour at a hosted reception inside the San Francisco Railway Museum, where you may view the current exhibition: All The Way Out Market, celebrating the 150th anniversary of rail transit on Market with a special ‘then and now’ photographic exhibit. This special exhibit pairs historic images with contemporary photographs taken in the exact locations, with a corresponding F-line streetcar captured in action.
We are offering members and supporters of Market Street Railway an early bird rate of $20 per person. All proceeds go to support Market Street Railway, and our work to keep San Francisco’s transit history alive. The San Francisco Railway Museum is a program of the non-profit, all volunteer Market Street Railway organization. Please note: As your ticket purchase will provide funds required to charter the streetcar from Muni, all ticket sales must be final.
Tickets become available to the general public on October 1st, at $25 per person.
Space is limited to just 44 passengers, so don’t delay!
Register online »
**UPDATE: We will be using one of the PCC cars in Muni colors, either No. 1050 or No. 1051, to ensure good acoustics and weather protection. We will not be using the boat tram as mistakenly reported earlier. Sorry for any confusion.**

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Castro Street Fair Volunteers Needed (Sunday 10/3)

The biggest community event of the year along the F-line is coming up: the Castro Street Fair on Sunday, October 3. We need volunteers to man our “booth,” which will be Muni’s oldest streetcar, No. 578, a San Francisco car built in 1895. We are seeking volunteers to staff the booth where we will be selling merchandise and recruiting new members. Hope you can make it for all or a portion of the day.
One of our biggest objectives at Market Street Railway is to get the word out to the neighborhoods along the F-line about the role we play in keeping the F-line streetcars in service and looking good. Most people don’t know that our advocacy was a key factor in replacing the old bus service to Castro with the attractive F-line streetcars 15 years ago, and is still critical to ensuring that Muni allocates enough resources to keep the streetcars running properly.
This is one of the best street fairs in the city, and certainly one of the most fun. So come out and volunteer with us for a couple of hours, then enjoy the fair! If you’re able to help, please email and let us know.
In any event, come by on October 3 and meet with us. We’ll have unique streetcar merchandise including our 2011 Museums in Motion calendar and popular “Information Gladly Given, But Safety Requires Avoiding Unnecessary Conversation” t-shirt.

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Photo of the Month: Upon Reflection

Kevin Sheridan photo. We’ve occasionally been featuring photos from our current Museums in Motion calendar as our “photo of the month”, but this month will be a little different. Our photo this month comes from June of our 2011 calendar, which has just been finalized and sent off for printing. Kevin Sheridan captured this reflection of Los Angeles streetcar no. 1052 on the future E-line right-of-way on The Embarcadero near Howard Street, with the Bay Bridge in the background. When… — Read More

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F-line Milan Tram in Miniature

Raymond Moreno photo. No, that is not a fantastically detailed scale miniature of the Ferry Terminal. Photographer Raymond Moreno has scaled down one of San Francisco’s real-life streetcars using the tilt-shift photographic technique. Tilt-shift is an increasingly popular effect recently been featured in several ad campaigns and, as you can see, has the effect of turning real life into a scale model. “I am always on the look out for photo opportunities that might lend themselves to the tilt-shift treatment.… — Read More

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Muni Service Expansion Planned for September

Several years of funding cuts by both the city and state have taken their toll on transit in California. Most agencies have been forced to raise fares and cut service to cope. Here in San Francisco, Muni riders have suffered from fare increases and two rounds of service reductions in just the last year. Most recently service was cut by 10% in May, including an early shutdown of community service routes that provide essential connections from major transit corridors to… — Read More

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Out with the Old, In with Clipper

Several years ago, San Francisco bay area began testing a transit fare smart card which could be used across different agencies and fare systems. Translink never lived up to the promise and only rolled out to a few transit system, including BART, Caltrain and Muni. Translink was also never fully integrated into the Muni fare system with only a few gates in the subway supporting it and validators on the busses seemed broken as often as they were working. BART… — Read More

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The Future of Fisherman’s Wharf

Last week the San Francisco Department of Planning released the latest draft of plans to improve the Fisherman’s Wharf area focussed largely on making Jefferson Street in a pedestrian friendly boulevard which better ties together the many attractions and destinations in the area. KQED’s Forum spent an hour friday discussing the plan which is worth a listen for those interested. The F-Market & Wharves line gets several mentions as the key transportation in and out of the area for both… — Read More

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Market Street Traffic Trials Prove Successful

Even before changes were made to traffic flow, bikes made up more than 50% of the vehicles on Market Street while Muni carries more people than all other vehicles combined. Last fall the SFMTA began a traffic trial project on Market Street. For an initial six week period, eastbound traffic was required to turn right off of Market at 8th and 6th Streets. It was a test to see what the effect would be of nudging traffic off Market to… — Read More

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Historic Streetcar No. 1051 in Noe Valley

Because the historic F-Market & Wharves streetcars are stored near Balboa Park Station they begin each day with a trip along the J-Church line to either 17th Street where they turn towards the stop at Castro or continue to Market Street. Photographer Kevin Sheridan captured streetcar no. 1051 (which is dedicated to District Supervisor and gay rights icon Harvey Milk) at the end of its day a few years ago, returning to the Geneva rail yard by way of the… — Read More

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