Twin Peaks Tunnel

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Twin Peaks Tunnel
Twin Peaks Tunnel.jpg
Twin Peaks Tunnel at Forest Hill Station
Overview
Line
Location San Francisco, California
Coordinates East portal:
37°45′43″N 122°26′13″W / 37.76194°N 122.43694°W / 37.76194; -122.43694
West portal:
37°44′29″N 122°27′56″W / 37.74139°N 122.46556°W / 37.74139; -122.46556
System Muni Metro
Start Eureka Station (closed)
End West Portal Station
No. of stations 3
(2 open, 1 closed)
Operation
Opened February 3, 1918
Owner San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Operator San Francisco Municipal Railway
Character Underground subway tunnel for light rail/streetcar system
Technical
Line length 2.27 mi (3.65 km)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrified Overhead lines, 600 V DC
Tunnel clearance 25 ft (7.6 m)[1]

The Twin Peaks Tunnel is a 2.27-mile (3.65 km)-long[1] light rail/streetcar tunnel in San Francisco, California. The tunnel runs under the Twin Peaks and is used by the K Ingleside, L Taraval, M Ocean View, and T Third Street Muni Metro lines. The S Castro Shuttle also uses the tunnel for AT&T Park game day runs.

History and background[edit]

The tunnel was opened on February 3, 1918.[1] The eastern entrance to the tunnel is located near the intersection of Market and Castro streets in the Castro neighborhood, and the western entrance is located at West Portal Avenue and Ulloa Street in the West Portal neighborhood.

The service through the tunnel has evolved from streetcars into light rail, and while there are longer light-rail tunnels elsewhere (such as Portland's Robertson Tunnel), the Twin Peaks Tunnel remains one of the world's longest streetcar or light-rail tunnels.[citation needed] There are two stations along the tunnel, Forest Hill Station, near the western end, and the now disused Eureka Station, near the eastern end.

When the Muni Metro system and Market Street Subway were built, they were connected to the Twin Peaks Tunnel to be used by the K Ingleside, L Taraval and M Ocean View lines. The Eureka Station was closed, and the Metro lines stop at the nearby Castro Street Station instead. The original eastern entrance to the tunnel in the middle of Market Street at Castro was removed and new entrances were placed on the sides of the street further up the block, though no Metro or streetcar lines use them in regular service (they were used during construction of the Market Street subway and are occasionally used in non-revenue service such as rerouting trains around construction projects). Instead, trains continue directly from the Market Street Subway into the tunnel without going above ground. West Portal Station, which was originally a surface stop outside of the tunnel's western entrance, was rebuilt as a high-platform station located just inside of the entrance.

Silent film of tunnel construction[edit]

In 2011, the Niles Silent Film Museum in Niles, California discovered a 19-minute silent film of the construction of the tunnel, produced by Baldwin and Howell Real Estate Co. of San Francisco. The film was restored with the help of the National Film Preservation Foundation. (See External Links.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wallace, Kevin (March 27, 1949). "San Francisco History - City's Tunnels". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 14, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Current East Portal of the Twin Peaks Tunnel, near the unused Eureka Station. This portal itself is also unused.
West Portal Station, at the western end of the Twin Peaks Tunnel