Sunday, January 16, 2011

The F Line

San Francisco is well known for its cable cars but it also has a unique collection of historic streetcars that run along the F Line on Market Street from the Embarcadero to Castro.  You will see red ones, yellow ones, blue ones, green ones, all painted the transit colours of some of the thirty North American cities that employed streamliner streetcars.  A non profit organization called Market Street Railway is dedicated to acquiring and restoring historic streetcars from around the world, and thanks to them we still have these old beauties plying the streets and adding their shuffling music to the urban mix.  

Number 162.  A double ended streetcar built for MUNI in 1914, one of only two survivors of a class of 125 cars.  It was retired in 1958 and spent 45 years at a railway museum before being reacquired in 2003.  Volunteers replaced the roof canvas and made repairs and it went back into service in 2008.
Number 1076.  This streetcar was built for Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1946.  It went to Newark, NJ in 1953 and ended up in San Francisco in 2004.  It is painted in the colours representing Washington DC transit.

Number 952.  This New Orleans "Streetcar Named Desire" was built in 1923.  It came to San Francisco in 1998 for the world premiere of Andre Previn's opera of the Tennessee Williams novel and has been in operation ever since.

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