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Like San Francisco, Melbourne, Australia utilized both cable cars and streetcars well into the twentieth century. Melbourne’s transit system was dominated by the W2-class streetcars. These streetcars were designed with closed sections at both ends of the streetcar; the middle section was used for boarding and disembarking. More than 750 W-class streetcars were built between 1923 and 1956. W-class streetcar # 496 was put into service in Melbourne on 18 February 1928.
In 1984, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency purchased streetcar # 496. With volunteer help from the Market Street Railway, streetcar # 496 has been cosmetically restored, made wheelchair-accessible, and provided with a GPS system. Otherwise, it’s mostly unchanged from its 56 years of service in Australia.
This is streetcar # 1895.The second most common type of streetcar in Muni’s historic fleet is an American classic with an Italian accent. This streetcar, which was constructed in 1928, is named for Cleveland, Ohio's railway commissioner Peter Witt who designed it in 1915. His idea was to speed loading by putting the conductor in the middle of the car, letting crowds board through the front door and paying as they passed the conductor and then the passengers exited through the rear door.
Streetcar # 1080 which was built in 1946, is painted in the colors of the Los Angeles Railway, which operated PCC streetcars after World War II.
We are now heading outbound, going south on Market Street. Paul Lucas and Katie are the two Market Street Railway volunteers who guided us on this excursion.
This is a view of Market Street from the rear of the streetcar; the Ferry Building is visible in the background. We are on the F-Market & Wharves streetcar line.
|This is a view from within the Church Street Bypass.|
Emma and Nick are both transit drivers for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. For normal daily transportation, the majority of streetcars have only a single transit driver. Whenever a streetcar tour occurs, two transit drivers occupy each streetcar. Emma was the transit driver of Streetcar # 496 and Nick was the acting conductor. It was a pleasure to be on a streetcar under their control.
A view of Streetcar # 496; Emma is at the controls. Paul Lucas, a volunteer who expertly guided us on this adventure, is standing on the left. We are now on the M-Oceanview light rail line.
|Emma is standing proudly in front of streetcar # 496.|
We are now at the Church Street Bypass and we are returning to the Ferry Building, the starting point of our ride.
The route: The distance traveled was approximately 25 miles (40.2 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 1,365 feet (416 meters). Mile markers are displayed on the GPS generated track. Click on the image to see the full-size map.
Go Here to view: San Francisco's Market Street Heritage Weekend: 9 & 10 September 2017
A Sony camera was used to take these photographs.
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