Decorate Streetcars and Cable Cars Nov. 24

Our historic streetcars are back at the Beach Yard (formerly Geneva) and this Saturday is decorating day! Both locations are covered facilities, so we will do our magic, rain or shine. We also have been invited to help decorate the Cable Cars at the Cable Car Barn that same afternoon. To join in the fun, you need to sign up at the link below. Here are the details:

Beach Yard Saturday, November 24 from 10am-12:00pm. We will meet at 10am at Beach where Milan 1818 (shown decorated in a past year, above) will await our handiwork. All tools and supplies will be provided. The Beach Yard is located at San Jose & Geneva Avenues, adjacent to the old red brick Geneva Office Building located just down the hill from the Balboa Park Station. Walk in carefully where the tracks emerge from the building.  Both BART and Muni stop at this station. If you drive, there is limited parking in the neighborhood.


Cable Car Division Saturday, November 24 from 1-3pm. Under Gripman Val Lupiz’ direction we will decorate, appropriately, Market Street Railway “White Front” cable car 12 (shown above, last year) using decorations & supplies provided by MSR, Val and his crew. The entrance to the decorating area is on Washington Street uphill from Mason, where the cable cars leave the building. Parking in the neighborhood is near impossible, so we advise taking public transit. The 30 Stockton will get you within a couple of blocks as will the 1 California, and of course you can take a Cable Car right there!

Be aware, if you bring children, they will have to remain inside the streetcar/cable car at all times, as you will be in an active Muni facility. But there will be lots of activity to see from inside the cars.

If you’d like to join us, please use our sign up sheet here.

We hope you are able to help us make our cars look their festive best this year!

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E-line Opening Now August 1

PCC Streetcar No. 1006, training on the E-line June 30, 2015, joins the light rail tracks that emerge from the Market Street Subway at Folsom Street.

PCC Streetcar No. 1006, training on the E-line June 30, 2015, joins the light rail tracks that emerge from the Market Street Subway at Folsom Street.

The opening of weekend service on the E-Embarcadero line has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 1, one week later than originally planned.

At a meeting between SFMTA and Market Street Railway representatives on Thursday, July 1, it was agreed that the San Francisco Marathon, which will clog the entire Embarcadero on Sunday, July 26, made it prudent to defer the E-line opening.

SFMTA had decided to substitute buses for streetcars on the F-line on Marathon day already, due to the difficulty of keeping schedules.

“We support the new August 1 opening date,” said Market Street Railway President Rick Laubscher. “The rollout will go smoother for operators, inspectors, and riders if they don’t have to deal with the extreme circumstances caused by the Marathon.”

Besides the start date, the meeting focused on creating clear signage for the cars and stops to explain the difference between the E-line and the F-line to unfamiliar riders.  The two lines run together from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building, but while the F-line turns inland and heads out Market Street to Castro, the E-line will continue along The Embarcadero and King Street to AT&T Park and the Caltrain Depot.  It will share tracks with the N- and T-line light rail vehicles south of Folsom Street, and has its own low-level boarding platforms and accessibility ramps at one end of each light rail station.

Market Street Railway is looking for volunteer docents to be stationed at key stops along the E-line during its 10 a.m.-7 p.m. operating hours during the first several weekends, starting August 1-2.  Shifts will run about two hours. You’ll help guide riders to the correct location, hand out brochures explaining the E-line, and answer questions. You can sign up by emailing

Seven-day service on the E-line is still slated for early 2016.

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E-Line Startup Looks Set for July 25

E-line car No. 1008 in 2013 Demonstration Service at its Caltrain Depot terminal.

E-line car No. 1008 in 2013 Demonstration Service at its Caltrain Depot terminal.

As readers of our member newsletter, Inside Track, learned last month, Muni’s second historic streetcar line, the long-awaited E-Embarcadero, now looks set to start up for initial weekend-only service on July 25.  Officials of SFMTA, Muni’s parent, were comfortable sharing that date with local blog Hoodline.

UPDATE: E-line startup moved to August 1.

The E-line, providing single-seat service the length of The Embarcadero, from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Giants ballpark and the Caltrain Depot, has been a goal of Market Street Railway and other advocates for more than 20 years.  It will share F-line boarding platforms between the Wharf and Ferry Building, and use separate low-level platforms and ADA ramps (built ten years ago) at the four N- and T-line stops from Folsom to Caltrain. All stops will be fully accessible.

The weekend-only service will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with E-line cars running every 20 minutes. It will acquaint operators with the route and optimize the sharing of the trackage with the other lines that use it, while providing time to train the additional operators needed for full-time service.  Full seven-day service is expected to begin in early 2016.

The E-line has operated in special demonstration service on numerous weekends over the past decade, most intensively during the America’s Cup races in 2013. Because there is no loop track at the south end to turn single-end streetcars around, the E will be restricted to double-end vintage streetcars only.  Muni has seven double-end PCC streamliners (Nos. 1006-1011 and 1015) as well as several older vintage cars that are expected to see service, including 1912 Muni Car No. 1, 1914 Muni Car No. 130, 1928 Melbourne tram No. 496, and 1923 New Orleans “Desire” streetcar No. 952.  (The popular Blackpool boat trams function as single-end streetcars after modifications to make them ADA-compliant, and so will not be seen on the E-line, though we are hopeful of having them operate some trips on the F-line this summer.)

Market Street Railway has pledged to assist SFMTA with signage and docents at key stops to acquaint riders with the new weekend E-line service. We welcome volunteers, so if you’re interested in helping us get the word out about this exciting new service, just email us at to let us know and give us your contact information.

Market Street Railway’s non-stop advocacy played a big role in making the E-line a reality. We depend on memberships and donations to carry out our mission of Preserving Historic Transit in San Francisco.  Please consider supporting us.  Thanks.

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Still Time to Gain Fame as a Calendar Contributor

We’re still taking photo submissions for our 2014 calendar, and especially encourage new contributors. Several great photographers, like Jason Brickman, whose work is shown above, have begun contributing in the past few years.
This high-visibility product is a great opportunity for both pros and amateurs to get published, while supporting our mission of preserving historic transit in San Francisco. All the proceeds from calendar sales go to support Market Street Railway programs.
You can learn all about submitting photos to our calendar on our Flickr group. We now take submissions on a year-round basis, so feel free to visit the group and submit any time.

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Come Ride the E-line Twin Torpedos (and Volunteer) Oct. 6-7

You haven’t seen this in San Francisco for almost 60 years. A pair of 1948 Muni PCCs, Nos. 1006 and 1008, in their original double-end configuration and their as-delivered “Wings” paint scheme. This class of Muni streetcars was altered around 1955. They were converted to run from only one end and painted to look like their single-end cousins. Both of these streetcars have been out of passenger service for at least a quarter-century. They’re now back from a complete remanufacturing… — Read More

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Grand Old Flags…All of Them!

All summer long, the F-line streetcars are bedecked with flags: the American flag over the front door on all cars, and the flag of the city, state, or country they represent on the other side (as shown below with the Minnesota flag above the operator’s window of Twin City Rapid Transit PCC No. 1071). On this Fourth of July, we’d like to tip our hat to three Market Street Railway members who have donated funding or volunteered their time to… — Read More

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Photos Wanted For Our 2013 Calendar

Hey, we’re thinking ahead. Our 2012 calendar is a big success, but we’re already starting work on the 2013 version. Our annual Museums in Motion streetcar and cable car calendar is a very important part of our fundraising, and we’re putting out the call to all photographers who’d like to see their work published in our gorgeous large format calenda to submit photographs. The back cover of our 2012 calendar includes thumbnails of the large images we used on each… — Read More

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Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jingling

Decorated Milan Tram No. 1818 heading into service on Church Street. Click photo to enlarge. Trolley bells, actually. Yes, our fantastic volunteers have done it again. The F-line streetcars all feature wreaths, and green Milan tram No. 1818 is kitted out with lights, garlands, and ribbons outside and full holiday decorations inside. You can find where it is with the live F-line map we collaborated with NextMuni to create. (Remember, though, not all the streetcars run all the time.) We’re… — Read More

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Harvey Milk Day Volunteers Needed

Were he still alive, Harvey Milk would turn 80 this coming Saturday. This year California will honor it as the first Harvey Milk Day and locally the Castro District will be celebrating one of our greatest local heroes with a full day of activities. Market Street Railway is hosting an open house–or perhaps, open trolley is more appropriate–in no. 1051. The streetcar which is painted in Muni’s green and cream scheme of Harvey’s era made a brief appearance in the… — Read More

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