Historic Streetcars in San Francisco

No.776

Built 1950 • Operational

Trolley coaches are a cross between streetcars and conventional buses. That’s why they were called “trackless trolleys” in some places. They run on electricity from double overhead wires, with one wire supplying the 600-volt DC power, the other serving as a ground to complete the circuit. (For streetcars, the track generally serves as the ground.)

In 1935, San Francisco got its first trolley buses, for the 33-line over Twin Peaks, operated by Muni’s private competitor, Market Street Railway Co. In 1941, Muni countered with its first trolley buses for the R-Howard line.

 

Coach 776 in US Bicentennial livery, 1976.

Coach 776 in US Bicentennial livery, 1976.

In 1944, Muni merged with Market Street Railway and by the end of the decade was converting two dozen streetcar lines to rubber tired vehicles – mostly trolley buses. Marmon-Herrington built a majority of the 380 new trolley coaches Muni purchased between 1947 and 1952. They ran reliably all over the city for a quarter-century before being replaced in the mid 1970s. This coach had the distinction (because of its number) of being painted in a patriotic livery for America’s bicentennial in 1976. It was then saved by a small group of preservationists who set up a charitable group for the purpose – today’s Market Street Railway, now Muni’s non-profit preservation partner.

dsc_8967Muni’s shops have kept the bus in operating condition and repainted it into the livery it arrived in — the iconic green and cream “Wings” design. It carries passengers every year during Muni Heritage Weekend at the end of September. Market Street Railway would like to see it operate occasionally during the year in regular service around town.

Originally built for
San Francisco Municipal Railway, 1950
Builder
Marmon-Herrington
Seats
48
Weight
18.960 lbs.
Length
39’3”
Width
8’ 6”
Height
10’ 7”
Motors
1 GE 1213-J1
Controls
GE magnetic rear static
Brakes
Electric 

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