Muni Heritage Weekend Nov. 2-3

Muni’s parent, The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), with support from Market Street Railway, is inviting the public to get a taste of the city’s public transit past by offering rides on vintage motor buses and trolley buses from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3. Also operating those days will be a special cable car and historic streetcars rarely seen in regular service.


Three of the vintage Muni vehicles that will carry passengers November 2-3 for Muni Heritage Weekend. From left, 1950 Marmon-Herrington trolley coach No. 776, 1912 streetcar No. 1, and 1938 White motor coach No. 042. Click to enlarge.

“Muni is America’s first publicly owned transit system, now into its second century of service,” said Edward D. Reiskin, Director of Transportation for SFMTA. “This heritage weekend gives our customers the chance to experience a full taste of Muni’s past, while demonstrating the unmatched diversity of vehicles that have carried San Franciscans to work, learn, shop and play over the decades.”
The vintage buses will leave from our San Francisco Railway Museum on Steuart Street between Market and Mission streets, across from the Ferry Building. They will supplement regular Muni bus service, following this circle route that loops around the Union Square area: outbound via Market, Sutter and Mason back to Market, returning inbound via Market, Spear, Mission to Steuart. The buses will pick up and drop off passengers at the terminal and at Market and Powell streets only. Regular Muni fares will apply.
Historic Buses
Here are the buses currently scheduled on the Union Square route during the Muni Heritage Weekend.
Bus No. 042: One of the small gasoline coaches built by White Motor Company in 1938 that served Coit Tower on the 39-line for almost 40 years. Overhauled by Muni’s shops and restored to its original orange and black paint scheme and its original fleet number as part of Muni’s centennial.
Bus No. 776: A 1950 Marmon-Herrington trolley coach, which served virtually all of Muni’s trolley bus lines during its quarter-century of service. It is painted in its original green and cream “Wings” livery.
Bus No. 3287: Built by General Motors, purchased by Muni in 1969, and restored to its original maroon and yellow livery inspired by the cable cars.
Bus No. 5300: A 1975 Flyer trolley coach painted in the white and two-tone orange paint scheme created for Muni by famed San Francisco industrial designer Walter Landor, who also created Muni’s current logo, known to many as “the worm” for the twisting lines that spell “Muni.”
Bus No. 506: For display only on Steuart Street, this trolley bus built in 1941 was one of Muni’s first ten trolley coaches that operated on what was then called the “R-Howard” route. It is currently awaiting mechanical restoration following a successful cosmetic restoration into its original yellow and blue livery.
Historic Streetcars
Muni’s F-Market & Wharves historic streetcar line will also have some special additions as part of the weekend celebration. Some of the vehicles that will be out on the line that operates between the Castro and Fisherman’s Wharf are listed below.
Streetcar No. 1: Muni’s very first streetcar, which inaugurated Muni service on December 28, 1912, running out Geary Street from Market to 10th Avenue, with Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph at the controls. It wears Muni’s first paint scheme of gray and red, with gold trim.
Streetcar No. 1040: The very last streamliner PCC streetcar built in North America. These famous streetcars, the core of today’s F-line, once operated in 33 different cities across the continent. Muni’s No. 1040, built in 1952, was recently restored to its original green and cream livery as part of a complete rebuilding.
Streetcar No. 578: The oldest streetcar operated by a North American transit agency, built in 1896 for a Muni predecessor. Converted to a work car after the 1906 earthquake, No. 578 was restored by Muni crafts workers to its passenger configuration and original yellow livery in 1956 as part of the city’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the earthquake. No. 578 will operate between the San Francisco Railway Museum and Pier 39 along The Embarcadero.
Other vintage streetcars that spent their first careers on Muni tracks are expected to operate as part of regular F-line service, including at least one of the two double-end “torpedo” PCCs, Nos. 1006 and 1008.
Cable Cars
The iconic cable cars are an important part of the heritage of both Muni and San Francisco. The California Line, which runs on California Street between Market Street and Van Ness Avenue will have a special addition during the Muni Heritage Weekend.


1906 O’Farrell Jones & Hyde Streets cable car No. 42 will run on the California Street line from Market Street to Van Ness on November 2-3 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Click to enlarge.

Cable Car No. 42 is the last cable car bearing the markings of the O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde line, which was closed in 1954. Reacquired from a private party in the 1990s and subsequently restored to its 1906 appearance by Muni’s cable car maintenance team with assistance on cosmetic work by volunteers from Market Street Railway. This double-ended car will operate from Market Street to Van Ness Avenue on the California Street cable car line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Regular cable car fares will apply.
At Our Museum
At the San Francisco Railway Museum, at the Steuart Street F Line stop, the terminal point for the historic bus trips, and one block from the California Street cable car terminal, there will be a special sale of transit books and memorabilia both days to benefit Market Street Railway. Talks on San Francisco’s transit history will be given at the museum at 2 p.m. both days. Visitors to the free museum can also see an exhibit on the Historic Trolley Festivals of the 1980s that gave birth to the F Line.
“San Francisco has been a great transit city for 150 years,” said Rick Laubscher, president of Market Street Railway. “We’re proud to support Muni Heritage Weekend to give the public a rare chance to actually ride the full array of our city’s historic transit vehicles, buses as well as streetcars and cable cars, all of them truly museums in motion.”

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Muni Centennial Vintage Service Nov. 4 & 11

With Market Street Railway’s help, Muni is celebrating its centennial with two Sundays of special vintage vehicle service, November 4 and 11, from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cable cars, trolley buses and motor coaches rarely if ever used in service will be carrying passengers on special routes, joining a wide array of Muni’s historic streetcars operating very special service as well.
Never before has Muni offered rides on special vintage vehicles in all four modes — streetcar, cable car, trolley coach, and motor coach — on the same day. If you rode just one vehicle of each type, you could experience up to 342 years of San Francisco transit history on those four vehicles. It’s an opportunity that will not likely come again soon. Regular Muni fares will be charged on the special rides.

The center of action will be our San Francisco Railway Museum on Steuart Street across from the Ferry Building, where most of the special service will terminate. On both November 4 and 11, we will have special displays, new centennial merchandise on sale, and a special sale of transit books and memorabilia that do not fit into our archival collection.


Both Sundays, a group of original Muni streetcars will be out and about, reliving Muni’s past, present, and future. The streetcars are expected to include Muni’s very first streetcar, century old No. 1, recently returned from a complete rebuilding. Its “little brother,” 98-year od No. 162, is expected to be in service as well, along with three newly rebuilt streamlined PCCs, all of which have spent their whole lives at Muni; all glorious in their original green and cream “Wings” livery. These include two 1948 double-end cars, Nos. 1006 and 1008 (both built in 1948) and the very last of almost 5,000 PCCs built in North America, No. 1040 (1952).

Car 1.

Car 1. Jeremy Whiteman photo from Market Street Railway Flickr group. (c) 2012, Jeremy Whiteman.

On November 4, the Muni heritage streetcars will operate along the original routing (more or less) of Muni’s oldest surviving line, the J-Church, which opened in 1917. Streetcars will depart about every 20-25 minutes from the Museum (Steuart Street) F-line stop and head out Market. They will follow the F-line tracks to 17th and Noe, then take 17th to Church to join the J-line, following the scenic right-of-way alongside Dolores Park, then through Noe Valley to the original J-line terminal at 30th Street. They’ll then return to the Museum via Church and Market Streets. The streetcars will pick up passengers at ALL regular Muni stops along the route.

On November 11, the Muni heritage streetcars will run along part of Muni’s newest streetcar line, the T-Third. From the Museum, they’ll head south on The Embarcadero along the tracks built for the future E-Embarcadero line, then join the T and N line trains where they emerge from the subway at Folsom. They will pick up or drop off passengers at the low-level E-line platforms at Folsom, Brannan and 2nd & King stations ONLY. After turning onto Fourth Street, the heritage streetcars will operate as a no-stop excursion along Fourth (across the historic China Basin Bridge), Channel, and Third Street to Cesar Chavez, where they will turn east and loop through Muni Metro East, giving riders a quick look at Muni’s newest streetcar facility, which will house the Central Subway fleet. The streetcars will return to the Museum from there.

Also expected to be in service those two Sundays (weather permitting): the 1934 Blackpool Boat, which will shuttle passengers between the museum and Pier 39. It is possible that additional special streetcars could make an appearance on one or both Sundays, depending on availability.

If you can’t make it on either Sunday, Muni will be making every effort to have the five Muni heritage cars in regular F-line service during the week in-between (November 5-10).
Do note that Muni’s shops made concerted efforts to get 1914 car No. 130 back in service



O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car No. 42 on its inaugural (and so far only) run, 2005.

Muni has only run its ceremonial cable car, 1906 O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Street No. 42(reacquired and restored with our help) once with passengers on board. And you had to be a mayor or other big shot to get on. On November 4 and 11, though, this beautifully restored cable car will run in regular service on the California Street line. The downtown terminal is just a block from the Museum, at Market and California Streets.


The workhorses of Muni’s trolley coach fleet for a quarter-century were the burly Marmon-Herringtons. Freshly restored No. 776, built in 1950, will be running a downtown loop route leaving from Steuart Street next to the Museum.


1950 Marmon-Herrington trolley coach No. 776 being tested recently. Tony Marquardt photo.

Additionally, one of the first 10 trolley coaches Muni ever owned, No. 506, built for the R-Howard line by St. Louis Car Co. in 1941, is scheduled to be on display in the plaza across the F-line tracks from the Museum. This blue and gold beauty, which shares some of the distinctive lines of the PCC streetcars that St. Louis Car also built, does not operate, but Market Street Railway, which rescued the coach 25 years ago, is working with Muni to complete its restoration.
The more modern trolley coach era will be represented by 1975 Flyer No. 5300, painted in its original iconic Landor white, gold, and orange livery. It is expected to carry passengers alongside No. 776 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Sundays.

Muni motor coach No. 042

1938 Muni motor coach No. 042 (long numbered 062), restored to its original paint scheme, at Woods Motor Coach Division, October 2012.

Muni’s motor coach history will be represented by two buses. One, definitely planned for operation, is 1969 GMC “New Look” No. 3287, painted in its as-delivered maroon and yellow livery, a short-lived Muni paint scheme borrowed from the California Street cable cars. Possibly joining it in service would be Muni’s oldest bus, vintage 1938 No. 042. This bus spent most of its life on the 39-Coit route (renumbered to 062), and is currently finishing up a complete rebuilding by Muni’s Woods Division crafts workers. It has been given back its original number and painted in its eye-popping original orange and black livery (too bad it wasn’t ready for the first games of the World Series!). At this writing, it is not likely it will be ready for November 4, but it may be finished by November 11. Whichever motor buses do operate will follow a short route from the museum, still being determined, from around 10 a.m – 5 p.m. They would operate as excursion vehicles, with no stops en route.

This will be the biggest operating day of Muni’s centennial celebrations. The actual 100th anniversary date, December 28, falls in a week when many people are out of town, so we and Muni management agreed it would be better to celebrate before then, but after the America’s Cup and Fleet Week activities.
We will provide you with any updates we receive as soon as we get them, so watch this space! Hope to see as many of you as possible on November 4 and 11.

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