Unique gifts for SF transit fans

Our online store is the place to get transit-related San Francisco gifts you can’t find anywhere else. And with our physical museum across from the Ferry Building closed by the pandemic, the online store is the ONLY place to find these unique items.

Take a look at the wonderful array of gifts for everyone on your list. Big or small, we have it all, from apparel and books to cute little stocking stuffers! Don’t hesitate – we have a limited supply of some items. We will ship your purchases within 48 hours of receiving your order, but we can’t guarantee delivery by Christmas if you order after December 10.

For the kids, check out our tees, toys, books, puzzles, placemats, patches and more. Just added to our offerings is the (Brio compatible) F-line Pacific Electric PCC streetcar toy, one of the most popular liveries of the F-line cars. Kids love stickers, and we’ve got the cutest ones of the historic streetcars, with art by Chris Arvin.

If the kids are Giants fans, don’t pass up the Giants engine and boxcar (also Brio compatible), and the 100-piece ballpark puzzle. Of course, our 300-piece fleet poster puzzle is also a must!

For the puzzlers who left their hearts in San Francisco, we have a challenging 1,000-piece street map puzzle, a 1,000-piece SF cityscape puzzle, the 300-piece F-line Fleet puzzle mentioned above, and a fun 100-piece magnetic city map puzzle for your fridge door.

Don’t forget our unique line of Historic Travel Series mugs, totes, coasters and matted prints that evoke the travel posters of yesterday, and celebrate the San Francisco’s F-line “museums in motion” of today (image above).

For the transit fan in your life, check out our beautifully crafted original Cable Car rail plaques, created by the late Don McKinsey just for us. Not many left, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. We also have genuine slices of 1880s cable car rail at a tiny fraction of the price a for-profit company is offering them. We also have a limited supply of the St. Louis Car Co. builder’s plate (visible up front on the classic PCC cars of the F-line), and a small number of the Market Street Railway Company White Front plates, both plates made from original castings, and a small number of replica Jewett Car Company builders plate recreated in 2014 for the restoration of Muni Car 162.

Though the cable cars aren’t running in the pandemic, you can keep them top of mind this holiday season on your tree with handcrafted ornaments, like this one, Santa astride a cable car, just like used to happen in real life in the 1950s. Another way to keep vintage transit in view is with one of these sensational colorful framed art pieces, signed by San Francisco artist Mike Sanchez, celebrating vintage streetcars including the PCCs (below), Muni’s famed Car 1, and the Milan trams. We also offer four different black & white matted prints of old San Francisco’s Market Street.

We also have a wide array of lapel pins and magnets showcasing the varied liveries of our fleet.

For the reader, look for Paul Bignardi’s Fleet History of the San Francisco Municipal Railway, Peter Ehrlich’s San Francisco’s F-Line, Angelo Figone’s Northwestern Pacific Railroad, and Doug Meriwether’s trilogy of the daily life at the controls of a Muni trolley coach, starting with Finding Zen in San Francisco Transit. These authors, all Market Street Railway members and current or retired Muni employees, offer the reader firsthand knowledge of their subject.  On Track, A Field Guide to San Francisco’s Historic Streetcars and Cable Cars by MSR president Rick Laubscher, is the go-to book for information on the vehicles in the fleet and an excellent addition to any reference library.

For the San Francisco history buff we offer a multitude of choices from Arcadia’s softbound publications to the hardbound and scholarly San Francisco Lithographer by Robert Chandler, The State Belt by William Kaufman, and Don Jewell’s California Trolleys. A Negotiated Landscape by Jasper Rubin documents the dramatic changes to San Francisco’s waterfront since the 1950s. You can browse all these book selections here. And check out hard-to-find DVDs of traction action and old San Francisco here.

In our apparel section, you will find a wide selection of unique caps, beanies, hoodies and tees with Boston, Chicago and Australia getting special attention in our new line celebrating the cars on the F-line. Many of these items come is a variety of sizes, colors and styles to meet your needs. Our special line of “Information gladly given but safety requires avoiding unnecessary conversation“ products includes a selection of tees, magnets, mugs, stickers and, of course, face masks. There are many unique Muni logo items available as well.

Don’t forget to pick up our “Museums in Motion” 2021 calendar where you can enjoy our marvelous array of historic streetcars every day of the year, professionally photographed by our own member photographers.

Until December 31, Market Street Railway members get 25% off on everything. If you’re not a current member, it’s the perfect time to join, and support us in our advocacy to return the F-line historic streetcars and cable cars to service as soon as safely possible.

Discount details: through December 31, enrolled dues-paying Market Street Railway members get 25% off all merchandise. Just enter the code thanks25 on your shopping cart page before checking out. Please, Market Street Railway members only. We do check. But hey, you can potentially save more than the price of our basic membership ($45/year) if you join before you shop. SFMTA employees (only) can always get a 10% discount by using the code munidiscount10 on their cart page.

Our quarterly magazine, just for members

Members receive our award-winning full color Inside Track magazine four times a year, with inside info on what’s going on with the historic streetcars and cable cars, plus fascinating and entertaining articles on San Francisco’s transit history. And members always receive at least 10% off their purchases both online and at our museum gift shop when we re-open. To thank and honor the front-line folks who keep San Francisco moving through this pandemic, all SFMTA employees get 10% off everything, all the time.

Again, if you’re not a member of Market Street Railway, you can join now to take advantage of the 25% shopping discount through December 31.

Please remember that all proceeds from sales from our online store go toward bringing back the historic streetcars on Market Street. The F-line is not operating due to Covid-19 and its future is actually in some doubt. We are leading the advocacy for the return of the streetcars and cable cars. Your purchases help us do that, as do donations to Market Street Railway. Please consider giving us your year-end tax-deductible support. Thanks.

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Our 2021 Calendar is Here!

We’d advise ordering this beauty quickly, including any gifts you want to give; we produced fewer than last year because of the uncertainty of when our San Francisco Railway Museum will reopen, so for now it’s only available online. Here’s the link to our store, if you don’t need any convincing (and why would you, with 13 eye-popping color photos of Muni’s historic streetcars and cable cars in action on the streets of San Francisco!) (Tip: you can get it free as a membership benefit. Read on!)

The design continues our traditional attractive layout. The size, 14×10 inches, is designed to keep shipping costs low, but is still plenty large enough to let the photos shine!

The year 2021 marks the centennial of the year our namesake, Market Street Railway Company, took over most of San Francisco transit operations from United Railroads, beginning a fierce rivalry with the young Municipal Railway (Muni) that culminated in the merger of 1944. We pay tribute to our namesake with rare thumbnail photos on the date pages, and a special page celebrating the centennial.

Reminder: if you make an annual membership contribution to Market Street Railway of $100 or more, you automatically get a free copy of the calendar. We will start putting the free calendars for our $100+ members in the mail next week. The US Post Office seems a little less efficient these days, so be patient…even though we ALL want 2021 to get here (because it means 2020 will be OVER!)

If you’d like to join now at or above the $100 annual level (or $10 monthly level) to take advantage of the free calendar opportunity, here’s the link to become a member.

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You need this mask!

Countless San Francisco commuters have probably taken a few moments to ponder this simple statement, which has been posted near the operator’s station of every Muni bus and streetcar since the early 1960s. The message is simultaneously friendly and forbidding, inviting yet indifferent, personable yet coldly professional. 

And now, it takes on special meaning, since many health officials recommend you minimize your talking in public proximity to others. What could be better than this?

You can only get it from us, in our online store. Don’t wait.

This mask joins our exclusive array of “Information Gladly Given…” products, including tee shirts (for both men and women), mugs, magnets, and stickers.

Every purchase supports our nonprofit’s efforts to advocate for the historic streetcars and cable cars and get them back on the street just as soon as it’s safe for operators and passengers.

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Giving Tuesday: can you help?

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day promoted around the world to focus people’s attention on the needs of many kinds addressed by nonprofits. We at Market Street Railway know full well, especially right now, that there are urgent needs everywhere. We hope you’ll be able to spare a little something for charities in San Francisco, or wherever you’re reading this, that are helping with the Covid-19 pandemic or other human needs.

We do want to let you know that Covid-19 is hurting our nonprofit in a big way as well. Our San Francisco Railway Museum has been closed for almost two months, and when it does reopen, we expect far fewer gift shop sales from reduced and social distanced visitation. More importantly for San Francisco, there is no date set yet to return the F-line and E-line vintage streetcars to service (Car 1015, shown above, has just returned from a complete rebuilding to better-than-new-in-1948 condition and is being tested on the empty tracks right now to be ready to carry passengers when it’s time). Nor is there a date for returning the National Historic Landmark cable cars to service.

We are focusing our efforts on urging and helping Muni to bring these vehicles back to the streets, in passenger service, just as soon as it is safe for both operators and riders. They are symbols of San Francisco and will be symbols of our city’s recovery.

So, as you give to nonprofits on this Giving Tuesday (or any day for that matter), we hope you will consider donating at least $10 to Market Street Railway, to help the cause of the historic streetcars and cable cars. You can donate here.

Another way you can help us is by picking up some great transit-related merchandise in our online store, including this new t-shirt we designed with PCC 1040, the last streetcar of its designed to be built new in America, 68 years ago.

To all of you who are Market Street Railway members or supporters, thank you for helping us keep the past present in San Francisco.

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Pier 39 is now E/F-line terminal for at least a year

This morning, operators on Muni’s E-Embarcadero and F-Market & Wharves historic streetcar lines started rolling their destination signs past “Fisherman’s Wharf” and stopped at “Pier 39”, the big visitor attraction a block east of what’s traditionally considered the Wharf. And those Wharf destination signs are supposed to stay dark for at least a full year, maybe longer, while the city makes changes to three blocks of Jefferson Street, from Powell to Jones, changes that do NOT include the F-line tracks… — Read More

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Crazy Day on the Waterfront

Yesterday (July 25) was an action-packed day on the waterfront, and included an opportunity seized, and one missed. Here’s what went down. E-and F-line service north of the Ferry Building was disrupted by a power problem at the Wharf and a couple of streetcar breakdowns (not sure if they were related). This occurred around the time EuroPCC 737 arrived at Don Chee Way to go into service. Inspectors sent several cars south on the E-line to get out of the… — Read More

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Trip to Europe on the Waterfront

With Blackpool, England Boat Tram 228 pulling an temporary “Brexit” from this summer’s special waterfront streetcar service on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Muni Chief Julie Kirschbaum is sending in fun substitutes to fill in. The coming two Tuesdays and Wednesdays (July 23-24 and July 30-31), 1952 Euro PCC 737 (which operated in Brussels but is painted to honor San Francisco’s Sister City, Zurich, Switzerland) will be cruising the waterfront. As a bonus, it will also operate on Swiss National Day, Thursday,… — Read More

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E-line Shuts Down for Two Months Starting Jan. 22

Beginning January 22, the E-Embarcadero streetcar line will be completely shut down for approximately two months. The shutdown is related to construction of a new center boarding platform on the T-line to serve the new Golden State Warriors’ arena, Chase Center, on Third Street. Beyond the impact on the E-line, the entire six-mile length of the T-Third light rail line will be converted to bus operation for the same period. Wait, what? That new platform is almost a mile south… — Read More

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Double Dose of Down Under This Weekend

UPDATE, Saturday July 21, 11:00 a.m. — Muni tests cars for a good reason before they enter service. The 916 developed a hot wheel bearing this morning and has safely returned to Cameron Beach Yard, where it will be fixed by the maintenance team. The operating crew said the car ran like a dream from a propulsion and braking standpoint, and they’re excited about taking it out again soon, though it will almost certainly not be out Sunday, July 22.… — Read More

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“The bell is charming; the horn works”

  The headline above is a great quote from a great story in Curbed SF about a dad and his two kids riding every Muni line terminal to terminal this summer. This installment includes the F-line where they rode the newest PCC to return to service following rebuilding, Car 1050 (pictured above in yet another calendar-worthy photo from Traci Cox). The author, Mc Allen, describes rolling along The Embarcadero on the “retro delight” PCC, “exceptionally maintained as rolling museums”. Along… — Read More

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Last Public Vintage Streetcar Charter of 2018: June 16

Much to our disappointment, Muni is suspending historic streetcar charters for seven months starting June 22, (except for our arrangements Operators’ Circle members charter on September 7). They cite, among other things, a shutdown of the T-line this fall due to construction of a new platform for the Warriors’ arena in Mission Bay. Whatever the merit of the reason, to the best of knowledge, there will be only one historic streetcar charter open to all Market Street Railway members and… — Read More

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2019 Museums in Motion Calendar is Here!

This may be our best calendar yet. Great images from great photographers who willingly share their talent to celebrate San Francisco’s historic streetcars and cable cars, and, importantly to us, help us raise funds to advocate for these “Museums in Motion” and help keep them looking great. Thanks to this year’s photographers: Traci Cox, Adolfo Echeverry, Peter Ehrlich, Matt Lee, Kevin Mueller, Bernard Spragg, Jeremy Whiteman, and Wayne Worden. Bonus: a photo history of the L-Taraval, celebrating its centennial in… — Read More

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Welcome Home, 162!

One of Muni’s original streetcars, Car 162, built in 1914 by the Jewett Car Company of Ohio, returned to San Francisco today following extensive accident repairs by the firm of Carlos Guzman, Inc. in Signal Hill, near Long Beach. The streetcar was badly damaged on January 4, 2014, when it collided with a semi-truck that ran a red light in front of the streetcar on The Embarcadero at Bay Street. Muni elected to send the car to a contractor for… — Read More

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Sacramento Street on Powell!

Few people realize that most of the cable cars that run on the two Powell Street lines originally ran on Sacramento and Clay Streets. Before the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, the Sacramento-Clay line ran all the way from the Ferry Building to Golden Gate Park (at Sixth Avenue and Fulton). It shared ownership with the Powell lines. A number of new cable cars were locally built in 1893-94 by Carter Brothers to serve the Midwinter Fair in the Park. One… — Read More

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Opening Day, with Car 1!

In a welcome surprise, Muni Operations assigned its flagship streetcar, vintage 1912 Car 1, to regular E-line service today, the first time that has happened since the E-line opened for seven-day service two years ago. It caught our usual coterie of fan-photographers off-guard, but we managed to catch a shot of it, above, pulling in to Muni Metro East at the end of the day. The special appearance was probably because of the Giants’ home opener at AT&T Park on… — Read More

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