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Showing posts from August, 2011

Muni Metro

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The Muni Metro the Light Rail Transit system of San Francisco, California operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Its first 5 lines opened in 1980, after the Market Street Subway, a double deck subway tunnel for LRT and BART (coming up next week) was complete. Unlike some of the other LRT systems in North America, the Muni Metro was converted from surviving streetcar lines. A 6th line on Third Street has been open since 2007 yet the Muni is still undergoing expansion with the Central Subway expected to be complete in 2016. With a daily ridership of over 150,000, the Muni Metro is the second busiest LRT system in America.


The current Light Rail Vehicles used by the Muni Metro are built by Italian engineering firm Breda. The San Francisco Municipal Railway has a total of 151 such LRVs in its fleet. The Muni Metro uses a standard gauge of 4 ft. 8.5 in.

F Market & Wharves Streetcar

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The F Market & Wharves Line is one of the light rail transit lines in San Francisco, California. While it is operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (the Muni), the F Line is supported by the non-profit organisation Market Street Railway. Unlike the other Muni Metro lines, the F Line exclusively uses heritage streetcars (built between the 1920s and 1950s) in regular service.

The F line was first restored on Market Street in 1995 and was later extended along the Embarcadero to Fishermen’s Wharf in 2000. Most of the fleet are PCC cars from San Francisco’s own Muni, South-eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and New Jersey Transit (NJT). Each car is painted differently to honour all the transit authorities in North America who have operated the PCC cars. There are also vintage streetcars operating on the F Line which are bought from Europe, Australia, and Japan.


I strongly recommend you to browse through the website and blog of the Market Street Ra…

San Francisco Cable Car

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I'm back from my trip and it's time for show and tell! Let's start with the San Francisco cable car.


The cable car (for the purpose of this blog), first introduced in the 1800s, is a rail car that is hauled by an endless, continuous running cable between the rails. It is known for its hill climb ability. The rail car does not depend on wheel-rail adhesion on steep grades and therefore performance is not affected by rail conditions (i.e. rain, snow). However the major attraction for most cities (especially on flatlands) was the fact that they replaced horse drawn cars which was deemed cruel and inefficient at the time.

For such system in San Francisco, a grip from the rail car is used to control the speed of the cable car by applying and releasing pressure to the cable, moving at a constant speed of 9.5 mph. The Clay Street Hill Railroad, opened in 1873 in San Francisco, California, is the first cable car railway in the world of its kind. The grip is controlled by a gripm…

In case you thought I forgot about this blog...

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I was busy doing this last night and this morning. The 6 hr delay of the Empire Builder was a blessing in disguise.

Again this is just a teaser, full albumes are coming up in the next few weeks.