After four years camping out unprotected at Muni Metro East, just off Third Street in Dogpatch, Muni’s historic fleet moves back to its regular home at Cameron Beach Yard at Geneva and San Jose Avenues in the Excelsior District tonight.
On June 21, 2014, the streamlined PCC streetcars were moved out of Cameron Beach Yard, the former Geneva Division, which has housed San Francisco streetcars since 1900. This was done in order to replace all the track across the street at the Curtis E. Green Light Rail Facility, which houses more than half of Muni’s LRVs (modern streetcars). To allow the contractor to replace the Green Division track, many of the LRVs normally stored there were moved to Cameron Beach for the duration, which in turn shoved the historic cars to Muni Metro East, where there was more room.
That track replacement job was supposed to take 18 months. Almost four years to the day, the PCCs are finally returning home. Contracting delays have been cited for the cars’ prolonged absence.
We will have a detailed story on the exile of the historic fleet in the upcoming issue of our member magazine, Inside Track. (You can join Market Street Railway if you’re not already a member and receive this great quarterly magazine.)
But this is an alert to photographers and fans that all cars on the E- and F-lines today will pull into Cameron Beach Yard instead of Muni Metro East at the conclusion of their scheduled runs. This includes both PCCs and Milan trams. Other operable cars will be moved one at a time either today or over the weekend, so keep your eyes open for action along the J-line, which will again be the route the streetcars use going to and from their storage and maintenance facility, replacing the T-line route used through Mission Bay to access Muni Metro East.
And good news: as we have advocated for, vintage streetcars entering or leaving F- and E-line service WILL carry passengers on their way to and from Cameron Beach. Muni announced this yesterday.
As the streetcars travel to and from Cameron Beach to the start and end of their route, they will be running in revenue service. This means they will be picking up and dropping off passengers along the J Church route between Balboa Park and Church and 17th Street in the early morning and evening.
If any of you experience a vintage streetcar passing you by on the J-line on its pull-in or pull-out trips, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to make sure these cars provide all the service that’s promised. Thanks, and welcome home, vintage fleet!