The historic streetcars are snug as a bug in a rug during this first rain of the season, now that they’re back at Cameron Beach Yard, their longtime (and we hope future) home during the current shutdown of the connection to the Muni Metro East storage yard.
The historic cars’ trips going in and out of service again follow the J-Church line tracks from Balboa Park to 17th and Church. Ace photographer Curley Reed captured some great shots of the old cars on the J the past few days.
With El Nino on the way (so they say), Market Street Railway wants to see the streetcar fleet protected from the drenching overnight rains. Without overhead cover, which already exists at Cameron Beach but not at Muni Metro East, when streetcars are sitting still overnight, heavy rain can work its way into the cars and cause rust and rot to begin. Leaving the historic cars uncovered for decades before the canopy was built at Cameron Beach caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to Muni’s own most historic streetcars, such as Car 1 (now rebuilt) and Car 130 (still running, but very rusty).
Soon, the LRVs that have been taking the historic cars place at Cameron Beach Yard during the reconstruction of Green Light Rail Division yard across the street will be able to return to Green. As soon as possible, for the long-term protection of San Francisco’s historic streetcar fleet, the vintage cars need to return to Cameron Beach Yard permanently.
Well, sort of. We get out to SFO a lot coming and going on business trips, and have had some nice surprises there over the years, like the great display of model trains they had in the International Terminal back in 2009.
We also keep seeing plugs for the F-line popping up around the airport. Here’s a current one up in Terminal One, featuring PCC No. 1078, painted in tribute to San Diego (but with the actual words “San Diego” understandably removed from the rear emblem – hey, why plug the tourism competition!). SFMTA, Muni’s parent, put it up as part of their ongoing campaign. It promotes Muni Passports for visitors. We think we see a bit of an homage there to our Historic Travel Series evoking rail transit’s glorious past (and present) in San Francisco. If so, we’re delighted.
This one, though, is a bit of a head-scratcher. We saw it in a store in the wonderfully reborn Terminal 2 (SFO’s original 1954 terminal). This wasn’t for sale in the store, but was used as a decoration. (No, the clerk didn’t know where it could be purchased; post a comment if you know.)
Clear enough what this is, though. It’s a take-off on those New York subway roll signs with Gotham decorations that get mounted as art and sell for beaucoup bucks. Well, we’ve got roll sign destinations from our streetcar and bus fleets as well. Trouble is, Muni has traditionally listed either a terminal intersection or a landmark (like Ocean Beach or Fort Mason) on its destination rolls, so some of these, like Nob Hill, Cole Valley, and Cow Hollow, don’t appear on actual Muni signs. Probably won’t matter to anyone but fans, though, and it’s a nice reminder on one’s way out of town of the pleasurable places that await on one’s return.