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Nostalgia & History > Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco


Date: 04/03/06 22:31
Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: shed47

San Francisco Municipal Railway's historic F-line streetcar fleet is a rainbow of colors with one car that really stands out being the 1052. Built for the Philadelphia Transportation Co. by St. Louis Car in 1948 it is painted to pay homage to the Los Angeles Railway, the long gone 3' 6" gauge system that served L.A. until 1963. The car is a mainstay of the fleet, racking up high mileages and hauling crush loads throughout much of the day along Market and the Embarcadero.

The 1052 should be joined this year by the 1080, a former Newark, NJ car that will be painted in the colors of National City Lines, the LARy succesor. Car 1061, star of a recent TV commercial that was well received, rounds out the Southland's representation on Muni painted in Pacific Electric colors.

The 1052 is seen in the photos eastbound on Market on a recent Sunday morning(about the only time you can find this location with light traffic) and in the second shot passing familiar landmarks along the Embarcadero.







Date: 04/03/06 22:35
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: shed47

The 1052 is seen in a couple of shots traversing the r/o/w in the median of San Francisco's Embarcadero.






Date: 04/03/06 23:36
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: espeeboy

hey Bob, you purchase a new camera?!? Lovin' the Muni PCC photos, my PE/L.A. transit fan dad (espeeDad) will love these! You're right, this thing does sparkle in the drabby city. What MUI has no the plans to duplicate L.A. Railway's other "Fruit Salad" scheme?!?



Date: 04/04/06 00:54
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: NscaleMike

Nice series of images...

Mike



Date: 04/04/06 01:19
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: DNRY122

One of the ironies of the Muni PCC "rainbow" is that none of the LA all-electric PCCs ever wore the two-tone yellow paint job; they were bought by LA Transit Lines and started service with the NCL "fruit salad". Then there's the "PE" car--on visits to MuniLand, I've had to explain to tourists that this "Red Car" never ran on the streets of Southern California, but is a transplant from Philly. Those of us who get technical will say, PE cars were double-enders, air-electric and built by Pullman. The Muni cars are single-end (except for three "natives"), all-electric and St. Louis car products. Since all the PE PCC's were scrapped long ago, I still enjoy seeing and riding Muni's version, technical details aside.
Another note about Muni's "LARy" car: Many (if not all) of the "F" line stop marker signs use the "LA" car for their graphics, not a Muni paint-job car. I wonder if Herb Caen is turning over in his grave?



Date: 04/04/06 09:20
Re: Gauge?
Author: spnudge

What is the gauge of the Muni? I thought the LA stuff was the same as the PE & the same as the Muni. Something I guess I always took for granted. A 3 footer in LA?

Nudge



Date: 04/04/06 09:27
Re: Gauge?
Author: fjc

As far as I know Muni is 4' 8-1/2".

spnudge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the gauge of the Muni? I thought the LA
> stuff was the same as the PE & the same as the
> Muni. Something I guess I always took for granted.
> A 3 footer in LA?
>
> Nudge



Date: 04/04/06 10:22
Re: Gauge?
Author: drew1946

spnudge Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the gauge of the Muni? I thought the LA
> stuff was the same as the PE & the same as the
> Muni. Something I guess I always took for granted.
> A 3 footer in LA?
>
> Nudge

LA Railways was 3'6" and trackage shared with PE was dual gauge.



Date: 04/04/06 12:21
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: RD10747

Orange below the window line?? Can't remember that!!!



Date: 04/04/06 13:05
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: dmaffei

Muni is a lot of fun, Rode the N Judah from a fellow foamers place in the Sunset out to Pier 39 with the kids last summer. It's a working museum of sorts. Cool photos



Date: 04/04/06 13:10
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: espeeboy

(forwarded from EspeeDad)

Howdy,

Agreed. I don't believe that I have ever seen a color photo of the
original LA Railway PCC cars, so I can't really say that the paint
scheme back in the late 1930's was too loud.

The car in your photos looks like a PCC-3 car (elongated little
"porthole" windows above the regular windows on the sides of the car).
LA Transit Lines received one order of these cars in 1948 and they were
painted in the "fruit salad" livery just like the model that you sent
me
for my BD.

Thanks for sharing.

Dad



Date: 04/04/06 13:21
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: drew1946

Cosidering what the MUNI has become in the recent past, it is amazing to think how close we came to loosing all rail service, streetcar AND cable car, in the years following the end of WWII through the mid-1960's. What is distressing is the idea of what was lost after the merger with the MSRy, not only in trackage but the cars themselves.



Date: 04/04/06 14:10
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: DNRY122

Yes, LARy (LATL, LAMTA version 1.0) streetcars were (and are) 42". Orange Empire Ry. Museum is one of the world's few dual-gauge railway museums for that reason. Actually, we're triple-gauge, although the 36" section is isolated from the others. Our loop line can run PE and LARy/LATL cars as needed. The reason why LARy was narrow gauge is that some of the early street railways in LA were cable operations. When they were electrified in the 1890's, the owners just bonded the old cable car tracks and bought narrow-gauge trolleys. Apparently the companies (which eventually came under the ownership of Henry Huntington) saw no reason to go standard, and the narrow gauge lines outlived the standard gauge PE by almost two years. Portland and Denver also had 42" gauge trolley lines, and the surviving cable railways in MuniLand are 42". This is also the most common gauge in some places where British engineers designed railways in the 19th Century, such as part of Australia, South Africa and Japan. OERM has a tramcar from Kyoto, which we unloaded right onto the LARy-gauge track; the controllers of Kyoto 19 (and probably the motors) were made in England.
As a sidelight, when one of the LA cable car lines failed, its power plant was sold and rebuilt, with the winding machinery replaced by dynamos (electric generators) making it one of Southern California's first electric generating stations. The streetcar lines, however, had their own generators, so this plant was mostly for electric lighting.



Date: 04/04/06 14:37
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: drew1946

Along those lines, is there an accurate reason why the streetcars in so many cities such as Pittsburgh, Philly, and New Orleans (actually NO had both broad and standard gauge) were 62"?

I have heard a myriad of reasons, from keeping out the steam roads to keeping wagon wheels out of the flangeways.



Date: 04/04/06 15:27
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: shed47

Agt-Highland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Orange below the window line?? Can't remember
> that!!!

I, too, would like to see a pre-1944 color photo showing how accurate Muni's orange is. Car 3001 at the OERM shown in the link seems pretty close to Muni's--seems unlikely they could both be too far off. The later fruit salad paint of L.A. Transit Lines/ National City Lines will be represented by the 1080 when it eventually enters service.
http://www.oerm.org/pages/lary3001.html

With the bulk of Muni's active PCC fleet made up of the ex-SEPTA St. Louis Car products there are obviously historical innacuracies regarding matching car types and paint schemes. We purists may care but 99% of riders are just happy to get a seat. The following link provides a good look at the various PCC phases and variations:
http://world.nycsubway.org/us/pcc



Date: 04/04/06 16:31
Re: Gauge?
Author: spnudge

Thanks. Never really thought about it, until now. Where was the duel gauge? For how long?

Nudge



Date: 04/04/06 16:49
Re: Gauge?
Author: SPkid

Many of the downtown streets were dual gauge. Hill Street, Main Street and, Los Angeles Street to name a few. Almost all the old trolley pictures in downtown L.A. show the dual gauge track.



Date: 04/04/06 21:49
Re: Gauge?
Author: john1082

I take it that the overhead wire was not so far off center that two systems could not share?



Date: 04/04/06 22:45
Re: Gauge?
Author: DNRY122

Yes, both LARy and PE used the same wire. I believe the downtown streetcar overhead is one of the reasons why PE never went to pantographs like other SP-owned interurban operations.
I remember seeing an episode of "The Untouchables", which was supposed to be set in early 1930's Chicago. The scene in question was at night. The automobiles were the classic boxy "gangster wagons", but the "Chicago Surface Lines" tracks had three rails, and the streetcar in the background looked suspiciously like a PCC (not in service until well after Prohibition was repealed.)



Date: 07/17/17 06:23
Re: Tribute to the L.A. Railway.....in San Francisco
Author: colehour

drew1946 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Along those lines, is there an accurate reason why
> the streetcars in so many cities such as
> Pittsburgh, Philly, and New Orleans (actually NO
> had both broad and standard gauge) were 62"?
>
> I have heard a myriad of reasons, from keeping out
> the steam roads to keeping wagon wheels out of the
> flangeways.

When BART was being built, there was some question as to why it was broad gauge. I think the reason was that it would give greater stability on curves at high speed and that the cars could be more spacious. There was also a rumor that the railroads didn't want a system that could be used to compete with them. It is difficult to imagine freight trains on BART...

Of course, that does not address the issue of broad gauge streetcar systems. More spacious cars?



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