The CERA, Central Electric Railfans' Association, has published a "New" Book on the "F" Streetcar Line in San Francisco. Peter Ehrlich former operator of President Conference Streetcars at Muni in San Francisco wrote and published this very fine book. Actually the original book came out several years ago and this new book has been revised with additional material that did not appear in his first publication. All pictures in the book are Color, except the early ones that were taken in Black and White back in the "good ole days".
I received my book because I have been a member of CERA for many years. CERA is located in Chicago, Illinois and has monthly meetings. Ehrlich has presented a slide show at CERA. Besides operating PCC Streetcars, etc. in San Francisco, Peter is a world traveler photographing streetcars (trams) and selling "Original" Slides of his work. Peter worked for the San Francisco Municipal Railway (now known as MUNI) from 1979 to his retirement in 2005. And when he operated streetcars, he carried several cameras to photograph them. How unique, a person who operated the streetcars, photographed them, and brought this factual work to the public. If you always wanted to know why the streetcar was "saved" in San Francisco, here is the book that will give you the answer.
If you have recently visited San Francisco you will quickly learn that this city is the only one in the entire world that operates the follow forms of Transportation:
PCC and Vintage Streetcars on the E and F Streetcar Lines. Light Rail/Subway Cars on 6 lines: 1. J Church, 2. K Engelside, 3. M Ocean View, 4. N Judah, 5. L Taraval and 6. the newest > T Third Street. All of the preceding 5 lines were streetcars at one time except the new #6 T Third Street Line which was built about 10 years ago and has always been a light rail/subway line. New Siemens Light Rail Subway Cars are coming on line right now and will replace the older Breda Subway/Surface cars. San Francisco has probably one of the Largest Trolley Bus Systems (both Single & Articulated Coaches) in the World and they are receiving new Flyer Trolley Coaches. Market Street, the main drag in downtown San Francisco, has the Light-Rail Subway below it and all 6 lines enter this subway. Below the subway is BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit Subway) and it goes from downtown San Francisco under the Bay to Oakland, CA and then fans out to several communities across the bay. San Francisco has still 2 Cable Car Lines known as the California and Powell Streets. Of course they have a very nice Diesel Bus System too--both Single & Articulated Coaches. One more rail transportation system in San Francisco is Cal-Trains that heads South. They are in the process of Electrifying part of this line.
The T Third Street and the N Judah Light Rail lines both go by the Ball Park and Cal-Trains . The N Judah Line is the busiest and most heavily used of all of the Subway Surface Lines. (There trains are always 4 Cars long). Also, the T Third Street Line continues pass the Ball Park and Cal-Trains Station to its end of the line and they share there tracks with the E Streetcar Line. If you look on Google Maps, the End of the T Line is very close to Geneva Avenue and by extending the T Line up Geneva Avenue to the Balboa Transit Terminal on San Jose Avenue, they could change destination from T to K and you would have a complete A - B Circle Light Rail Subway Line in San Francisco. Portland Oregon Streetcar has an A - B Streetcar Line that circles there city in a clockwise and counter clockwise direction. Just a thought!
One thing about San Francisco, they are the only city in the world that still has active PCC Streetcars and operating Cable Cars. But I should say that Boston and Philadelphia have a token PCC Streetcar Line Operating. You might say that Kenosha Wisconsin has a small heritage PCC Streetcar Line that runs about a 1 mile circular track. Kenosha is trying to extend this line to the "old" city. Also, the S.F. Chinatown Subway is presently being built. And plans are in the works to extend the F Streetcar Line to the Golden Gate Bridge. By extending the F Streetcar Line, it will relieve congestion that both the F & E Lines currently have at the present turn-around in the wharf area. There are lots of plans for the streetcars and light-rail lines in San Francisco as long as they get the money to do it and the politicians are favorable.
If you wish to know more about the CERA and the "F" Line Streetcar Book, contact them at www.cera-chicago.org
Also, if you like PCC Cars (like I do), you might want to join The Market Street Railway in S.F. Look them up on Streetcar.org There is a wealth of Information on the MSR Site that is free for the viewing.
Sincerely yours, railbear601