US diaries-2: Vintage streetcars of SFO

They are old. They are slow. And they are small. Yet…, they are extremely popular!

You can’t miss them when you are in Fisherman’s wharf or in Pier-39 (or anywhere on the F market & wharves route). The beautiful vintage street cars!

Heritage street cars of SFO

 Having been sourced from all over the world, from places like Melbourne (Australia), Tokyo (Japan), Birmingham (UK), Milan (Italy), these street cars behold heritage status and have become an attraction by themselves! 

After having served in their respective countries / cities for several years, after almost being written off as junk, it is heartening to see these old horses being put to test again in this amazing melting pot (of street cars, if you will :-)) called San Francisco!

Heritage street car of SFO

Restored to operational condition jointly by San Francisco Municipal Railway (called Muni) and Market Street Railway, and operated by Muni, these cars ply at regular intervals from Fishermans wharf to the Castro district. Today they form an integral part of transport in the area. The fare is just 2$ for a trip. Someone told me that they transport 20,000 people per day.

I believe the original colors of the cars have been kept intact too. I have so far seen green, yellow, orange, red and blue colored cars.

I have taken a ride on few of these street cars and have enjoyed it very much. These street cars are pretty crowded at times, I guess, owing to its popularity. If you are in San Francisco, I suggest that you do too! Make sure you carry sufficient change.

Vintage street cars of SFO

PS: There is a request currently for submission of photos for the 2011 Museums in Motion Calendar. Read more about it here. If you are interested, keep the deadline in mind.. its May 31. I have submitted a couple of photos myself, but am not satisfied with the quality. I would love to go back and shoot again, but am not sure if I have the time before May 31.

For more information, please visit the following links:

  1. Wikipedia on the F market and wharves route
  2. A brief history of the F line
  3. Historic Streetcar Fleet
  4. San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI)
  5. Market Street Railway
  6. Stuck in the past?
  7. Much more on Market Street Railway’s blog

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