Photo of the Moment: Sunshine on a Cloudy Day


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The overcast seems like it’s been with us forever, but here’s a sight to brighten the scene: two of the brightest streetcars in the F-line fleet passing on The Embarcadero the other day. Milan tram No. 1811 wears the yellow and white livery this “Ventotto” class originally wore (“Ventotto”=28,for the year, 1928, when the first ones went into service). PCC No. 1076 evokes the tropics in its aqua and flamingo orange paint job, jarring for Washington DC until you read the story behind it.
No. 1076 is now the only one of the 1070 class that hasn’t yet been sent to Brookville Equipment Company for rewiring. This class all had unreliable door motors after previous work had been done by Brookville on them, but Muni’s shops substituted never-used but vintage door motors from a stash they acquired from Pittsburgh when that city abandoned its last PCCs. The doors on 1076 have operated very well ever since, while Muni continues to have problems getting the new, “modern” door systems its engineer and Brookville selected for the remaining cars in this class to work reliably. (Market Street Railway has urged Muni to NOT change 1076’s door motors when it goes, as it must, to Brookville for badly needing rewiring, and to strongly consider going back to the traditional door motor system for PCCs.)

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Photos of the Moment: A Different View

The other day, we talked about helpful Muni operators on the Boat Tram. Here’s a different angle on that, literally. The cruise ship Crystal Symphony called at Pier 35 yesterday, with relatives on board. A tour gave us the chance to snap a few shots from a vantage point San Franciscans rarely experience. That includes sweeping views of the Wharf area with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, and, in this case, two F-line streetcars, No. 1053 (Brooklyn) approaching Pier 39 and No. 1015 (Illinois Terminal) turning from Beach onto The Embarcadero. The World War II merchant ship S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien and submarine U.S.S. Pampanito are visible just beyond Pier 39; the Piers of Fort Mason, proposed terminal of the historic streetcar extension, can be seen just below the Golden Gate Bridge archway over the Civil War-era Fort Point.


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In my San Francisco lifetime, I’d never had this exact vantage point (unless you count an occasional trip in a news helicopter back in my reporter days). Off the bow, above, a head-on shot of Coit Tower almost at eye level, with a foreground of the eclectic mix of sheds behind the historic facade of Pier 35. From the ship’s port side, below, spectacular views over the finger piers of downtown and the Bay Bridge. Certainly a different perspective.
Now to finally get a cruise ship terminal worthy of our city…

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