Cargo Streetcar

Muni’s hunting for more revenue almost everywhere these days. Check out this video at about the two minute mark for an idea: cargo streetcars. Volkswagen moves parts to its Dresden factory on special cargo-carrying streetcars (trams to them). Maybe Muni could do the same…oh, wait, that’s right, we don’t have industry in San Francisco anymore. Never mind. 🙂
Thanks to MSR Member Roger Goldberg for the link.

Comments: 6

  1. We may not have industry in San Francisco, but if we thought that far out of the box we could. I’d rather have this transparent factory than that Irvine office park posing as a UC campus along third street. Isn’t amazing how quickly it happened, and how little we’ve noticed, but this sort of high tech thinking was what made America great, and now it’s all overseas! No jobs for cargo streetcars in that vision.

  2. …But Dresden didn’t have any industry in the center of town either. That is what’s so provocative about this factory – it was built within the urban core despite higher land values and wages. The freight tram is an ingenious solution to mitigate the traffic impact of this project. I wonder if it is truly profitable, or a loss leader? In either case, it is a big investment in urbanism.

  3. According to “The White Front Cars of San Francisco” by Charles Smallwood, back in the pre-quake days, Market Street Railway ran trolley Railway Post Office cars, with clerks sorting mail while the car rolled down the street. United Railroads had a “horse car”–not powered by hayburners, it was an electric boxcar that carried the horses to Tanforan Race Track on the San Mateo interurban line (#40).
    I’ve read that in Argentina, the Quilmes brewery had a fleet of “beer wagon” trams that delivered beer to destinations along the tracks.

  4. It’s interesting and innovative in one sense. But in another, one could argue that it’s simply Less-than-Car-Load and Car-Load freight that used to be more prevalent. In either case, it’s certainly unique at this time.

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