Founded in 1976, Market Street Railway is the nonprofit preservation partner of the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni), the city agency that owns and operates San Francisco’s transit system, including its historic streetcars and cable cars. Market Street Railway charters historic streetcars from Muni for private excursions a few times a year for our members and their guests. These excursions offer a unique way to experience these museums in motion.
This Excursion Companion Guide is a compendium for these excursions offering a touch-sensitive system-wide rail map annotated with historical information, over 65 high-resolution vintage photos dating as far back as the early 1900s, and a detailed glossary defining nearly 50 electric rail terms, both common and specific to San Francisco, with over 30 additional photos. You can use this guide while on-board an excursion to follow along and view vintage photos of your location comparing “then” to “now” as you travel around the rail system.
The photos come from both public and private collections and have in many cases been scanned from original negatives and painstakingly enhanced to yield stunning results. The photos not only show old streetcars, but show them in the context of San Francisco as it has changed over the last century. Included are photos of landmark events such as the first operational streetcar after the 1906 earthquake, Muni’s opening day in 1912, the opening of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in 1918, and Muni’s 50th Anniversary in 1962.