The Eyes Behind Our 2018 Calendar

Our 2018 Museums in Motion Calendar is one of the best we’ve ever offered in terms of the quality of photography. If you haven’t bought yours yet, you can get it at our online store or at our San Francisco Railway Museum.

We’re grateful to the fine photographers who contribute their work to the calendar every year. We’d like to share some more information about them.

Traci Cox

“Traci is an SFMTA operator who has been a rail fan for as long as he can remember. When he’s not operating on the F-line, he’s often out with his camera, catching great streetcar and cable car shots.” Here’s Traci’s site.

Jeremy Menzies

“Jeremy is a photographer and archivist for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Muni’s parent. Jeremy has done fabulous work in organizing and scanning SFMTA’s collection of priceless historic photographs of San Francisco, including collections inherited from past competitors United Railroads and the Market Street Railway Company (our namesake).” Visit the great SFMTA photo archival site Jeremy manages.

Father Kevin Mueller

“Kevin is from Baltimore, Maryland and has been an operator at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum for 38 years. He visits San Francisco every summer to ride and photograph MUNI. The 2018 MSRy calendar is the fourth to use some of his photos. He owns a 1947 Baltimore Transit Co. bus which has been used in two movies.” Kevin’s site.

Joel Salomon

“Joel Salomon has been a trolley fan his entire life and has visited San Francisco several times over the years since he was a child with his parents. It has been over 60 years that  Hyde St. car operated regularly over the Hyde St. cable car line. Joel submitted the photo of car 42 cresting Hyde St. taken last year during the Heritage Weekend. Living in Allentown, PA, Joel is a long time volunteer at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in south central Pennsylvania.”  Some of Joel’s photos.

Jeremy Whiteman

“Jeremy Whiteman, a Bay Area local, has been a contributor to the Market Street Railway calendar for many years and is a past member of our Board of Directors. He is active with the Western Railway Museum in Solano County  He is regularly out and about in San Francisco with his camera and often grabs great shots.” See Jeremy’s work.

Wayne Worden

“Wayne is a street photographer living in Vancouver, B.C. He visits San Francisco two or three times a year making it a point to spend some time capturing the MSR. His images have been selected for the calendar in the previous two years.” Wayne’s website.

Just FYI, we’re already at work on our 2019 calendar. If you’d like to see some of the photos that were submitted by these and other great photographers, visit our public Flickr site and search under 2019msrcalendar. You can also upload your photos there anytime.

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Trolley Excursion, August 27, 2017

Come ride Muni’s very first streetcar, car 1 built in 1912, on this nearly 4-hour excursion on the F, J, K, L, and M lines ranging all over San Francisco. The excursion is on Sunday, August 27, 1:30-5:30pm.

Destinations include: Market Street, Civic Center, the new Mint, the Castro, Dolores Park, Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, Glen Park, West Portal (entrance to the Twin Peaks Tunnel opened in 1918, one of the world’s longest streetcar tunnels at 2.27 miles), and the San Francisco Zoo.

Car 1 had its inaugural run out Geary Street on December 28, 1912, piloted by then Mayor James Rolph, Jr. It ran for 39 years until 1951 when it was retired from service. In 1962, it was restored to its original condition to serve as the centerpiece of Muni’s 50th anniversary. Car 1 was used during the summer trolley festivals during the 1980s and became part of the new F-Market line fleet in 1995.

Seating is limited to 48 passengers (the seating capacity of the car), so sign up today. For this long excursion, the rate is $100 for members of the public, but Market Street Railway members receive a 25% discount at check-out via a coupon-code. All proceeds go to support Market Street Railway in its work to keep San Francisco’s transit history alive.The trip begins and ends at the San Francisco Railway Museum at 77 Steuart Street just opposite the Embarcadero from the landmark Ferry Building.

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2018 Calendar Now On Sale

It may be our best calendar yet. Thirteen powerful images of Muni’s historic cable cars and streetcars in action on the streets of San Francisco, taken by some great photographers.

On top of that, there’s a special page telling the story of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as we celebrate its centennial year. And 12 smaller archival photos, one on each month’s date page, chronicling the building and operation of what was for decades the longest streetcar tunnel in America.

Our photographers this year include Lee Carlson,Traci Cox, Rick Laubscher, Jeremy Menzies, Fr. Kevin Mueller, Joel Solomon, Jeremy Whiteman, and Wayne Worden. We’ll run profiles of many of these photographers in future posts.

You can get this great calendar in person at our San Francisco Railway Museum and save shipping charges. Or you can order it here at our online store.

These make great holiday gifts, so stock up in advance!

 

 

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84% Support Historic Streetcars

In the increasingly frothy world of online media, we’ve noticed a definite increase in stories designed to create a controversy where there really isn’t one. With today’s frantic competition for eyeballs, competitors will often build on each other’s story without doing any actual, you know, reporting. (Not that this is just an online media thing; who of a certain age can forget the Chronicle’s “crusade” against bad coffee half a century ago, under the unforgettable headline, “A Great City’s People Forced to Drink Swill.” But we digress.)

Recent case in point on the fake controversy front. The Examiner’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez ran a straightforward story on May 30 about SFMTA’s (Muni’s) application for a federal grant to fund the next steps in the proposed historic streetcar extension to Fort Mason. (Joe Fitz, as he’s widely known, routinely breaks good transportation stories through solid old fashioned reporting, only to have his work parroted, often with no credit, by numerous online sites.) This time, the site StreetsblogSF picked up Joe’s story (with full credit) but decided to spice it up with controversy by turning into a story that asked the question, “Is it Time to Modernize the F-line?” The story revived a post the site made back in 2009, asking the same question, that went nowhere. Both stories almost certainly were suggested to the editor by Tom Radulovich, executve director of Livable City, the non-profit associated with the blog. Tom’s a former BART board member and the primary proponent of replacing the F-line vintage streetcars with modern low-floor streetcars. (These would very likely require major track rebuilding wherever used because they would probably not clear crowns on the hills as is, but we’ll leave feasibility out of this discussion.) We’ve talked cordially with Tom on this topic numerous times and, in friendly terms, agreed to disagree.

Anyway, StreetsblogSF ran its story and the comments on the site were strongly in favor of keeping the old streetcars. Immediately though, other local online news sites jumped in to take advantage of the “controversy,” which wasn’t really that at all, just basically one guy’s opinion.

One of these sites, CurbedSF, which primarily covers real estate, jumped in a few days later and regurgitated the story (must have been a slow day in the development/property world). (Neither of these sites bothered calling us for our views before posting their initial story, by the way, though when we called them, CurbedSF did incorporate our comments in an update.)

CurbedSF did add something new to the “controversy”, though, which is the point of this post.They asked their readers to vote on whether they wanted the historic streetcars to stay on Market Street and the Waterfront, or be replaced.

More than 260 readers responded to the question, “Is it time to get rid of the historic streetcars?” 16% said, “Yes,” while 84% — 5 out of every 6 respondents — said, “No.” San Franciscans know there’s almost nothing in this town that gets 84% agreement.

So maybe we can bid farewell, at least for awhile, to this manufactured “controversy”, and focus efforts on making the historic streetcar service run more efficiently, with cashless boarding (pre-paid fares on the busiest parts of the line), even more automobile traffic reduction on Market Street along with consolidated stops from Van Ness to the Ferry, better line management on both lines, but particularly the E-line, and other low-cost measures that Market Street Railway has been advocating for years.

This survey should erase any remaining doubt that the historic streetcars are highly valued by San Franciscans. Now’s the time to actually do something about helping their riders complete their trips faster.

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More Muni Mismanagement of the E-line

PLEASE SEE JULY 11 UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST. Sunday, July 9, has been a gorgeous day in San Francisco, but not a good day (again) for the E-Embarcadero line, which again has been mismanaged, in this case by assigning a streetcar that should have been on the E-line to the F-line instead. In the photo above, you see one of the seven double-end PCCs, the 1007, working the F-line to Castro, not the E. The double-end PCCs… — Read More

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E-line Problem Discourages Riders

A technical problem with a switch near the southern E-line terminal has forced certain streetcars to skip the final stop at Caltrain, discouraging some riders from using the service. As it was explained to us by Muni management, two of the seven double-end PCC streetcars assigned to the E-line have problems reversing at the Sixth and King Streets terminal because of a fault in a switch. The other five PCCs are able to bypass the problem by cutting power and… — Read More

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Unique SF Transit Gifts at our Museum Store

Looking for unique holiday gifts for friends and family, kids and former kids? Look no further than our San Francisco Railway Museum and Online Store. We’ve got a whole range of new merchandise you can’t find anywhere else, because we designed it ourselves in support of our mission to preserve and celebrate historic transit in San Francisco. We’ve got four new 11-ounce mugs featuring images from our Vintage Travel Series — original art we commissioned in the style of classic… — Read More

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Take a Trolley Tour on the Last PCC May 22

Market Street Railway and San Francisco City Guides are again collaborating on a memorable vintage streetcar ride along Muni’s historic F-line. The spring tour is Sunday, May 22, 1:30-3:30pm on-board the last PCC built in North America for Muni in 1952, offering views of the sights and sounds along the F-line on Market Street and The Embarcadero. No. 1040 has been faithfully restored to its 1950s appearance, looking just like this shot of a charter at the end of 1956 at Geary and Market,… — Read More

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E-line NextBus Map Working!

NextBus, Muni’s vendor for live displays showing where every vehicle is on every route, has launched the full-time E-Embarcadero map. You can now see what’s on both the E- and F-lines by clicking here, then selecting the map you want: F-line only, E-line only, or a combination (as shown in the screenshot above). We thank NextBus (which labels its maps here “NextMuni”) for including the icons (which we supplied them) of the actual streetcars that are on the line, a… — Read More

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Happy 87th Birthday, N-Judah!

The N-Judah streetcar line turns 87 on October 21. SFMTA’s great blog has already posted some great photos of its 1928 opening, including one (the top one on their blog page) we don’t remember seeing before, so we’re going to share a couple of more recent shots instead. These were taken during a dead-of-the-night test run in 2010, after the LRVs had gone to bed for the night. The purpose was to check clearances along the surface portion of the N-line to… — Read More

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Sign Up Now for Two October Excursions

It’s great to have your own private streetcar.  It’s even better when there’s entertainment or the opportunity to learn on the trip.  We offer all these things in two excursions open to the public in October. Click here to get the complete scoop and sign up. Market Street Railway is hosting another of its popular “Night Train” excursions. Come ride Muni’s Australian import, tram No. 496, along the historic F-line from the Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf and back. While riding, you’ll be… — Read More

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Still Space on Our August 22 & 23 Trolley Tours!

Seats are going fast for our next two Market Street Railway Trolley Tours, but you can still get on board! Saturday August 22nd, Market Street Railway joins with The Exploratorium for a very special charter that includes VIP tickets to the Exploratorium at a discount on both. It’s a family oriented event, with discounts for kids who ride along. (But note, the way to get kids’ tickets is to call our museum at 415-974-1948 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., because… — Read More

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E-line Gets Going

The E-line had a successful first day of operation August 1. Five double-end PCC streetcars cruised the waterfront from Fisherman’s Wharf to Caltrain from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the standard weekend schedule that will be in place until full-time, seven-day-a-week service starts early next year. The stations south of Market Street were very well marked with clearly worded signs and banners in multiple languages, created by SFMTA’s Communications Division. The signs, on both the low-level E-line side platforms and… — Read More

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E-line Kickoff; Boat Tram Debuts

San Francisco’s newest transit line started operation this morning, August 1, 2015, after an enthusiastic kickoff event on The Embarcadero yesterday. This photo, by Scott Badovick, captures the instant when dignitaries led by Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisors Julie Christensen, Scott Wiener, and Jane Kim, SFTMA Board Chair Tom Nolan and Vice Chair Cheryl Brinkman, SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, and SFCTA Executive Director Tilly Chang, simultaneously snipped a red ribbon to mark the occasion. In the background, PCC No. 1006,… — Read More

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New Boat at E-line Ceremony July 31

Muni’s new “boat tram,” Blackpool, England open-top Car No. 233, will officially debut on July 31 at the opening press event for the new E-Embarcadero line. The new boat tram, Muni’s second example of this popular 1934 design, was acquired for Muni by Market Street Railway in 2013, thanks to a very generous donation by the Thoresen Foundation, and ocean shipping subsidized by FedEx Trade Networks.  The boat, pictured above when on display during 2013’s Muni Heritage Weekend, has been… — Read More

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