Talk:F Market & Wharves

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Confusion on PCC Car Origin[edit]

The article says:

Included in the equipment are:

I can see why someone might think this, because the F line operates PCC cars in many city's color schemes, including (probably) all of these. Unfortunately all isn't quite as it seems; the majority of the operating PCC cars come from the 14 1946 built single-ended cars that Muni bought from Philadelphia in 1994. There are also 3 original San Francisco double-ended PCC cars in operation. Between them, these cars are painted in the color's of cities that once operated the PCC car, but that doesn't mean they actually came from there.

Muni has recently purchased 11 more PCC cars from the Newark Subway, and has other San Francisco area PCC cars, but I don't believe any of these are yet in service. Confirmation for all this can be found on the Market Street Railway website linked from the article.

As of June 30, 2009, 3 of the 11 former newark cars are in service, 1075 (painted in tribute of Cleveland, Ohio), 1077 (Birmingham, Alabama), and 1078 (San Diego, California). All 11 need to be required to complete their restoration and a contract for that and the restoration of 5 addition PCC streetcars has been approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors and now awaits approval from the SF Board of Supervisors to proceed. Jamison Wieser Director, Market Street Railway 20:31, 30 Jun 2009 (UTC)

Now to try and work out how to put this into the article. -- Chris j wood 23:29, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You're correct; armed with your information, I went back and read the brochure again and found the column in the table listing the PCC cars was headed "Representing". Thanks for the correction. I've put the list of represented cities back in again, but using your clarified language.
Atlant 13:35, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That is fine. I meant to say thanks for making such a good start on this article; hope my 'improvements' are ok with you. Seems kind of strange that the three people actually contributing to this article live in Boston, Baltimore and England. :-) -- Chris j wood 16:45, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Your improvements are great, and caught an obvious error that I had made! With regard to where we're all writing from, well, San Francisco has that effect on people. I think if this were an ideal world, we'd all spend a lot more time there, perhaps commuting from Boston, Baltimore, and England. On the other hand, speaking just for Boston, we do have some hills, a big bay nearby, an Italian district not unlike North Beach, a small Chinatown, and now we even have a signature bridge, even if it isn't a Golden Gate or Bay Bridge. So for now, I'm "making-do" :-).
Atlant 17:13, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Use of trolleybuses[edit]

The article says:

Muni operates a large electric trolleybus fleet whose catenaries are compatible with the overhead cables that power F Market streetcars. These buses are occasionally pressed into service on the F Market line, particularly if a streetcar has broken down somewhere on the track and other streetcars cannot get around it.

I don't understand this. The F Market line (like most electric streetcar lines) operates with a single trolley-wire and trolley-pole, using the rails as the return electric current path. Trolleybuses on the other hand need two trolley-poles and wires.

Of course, a fair amount of Market Street is wired for use by parallel trolleybus routes, so limited substitution may be possible there. The Embarcadero certainly isn't so wired, and I'm not sure about the Castro end of the line. So in general, I don't think trolleybuses could substitute for F Market streetcars over the full route.

The only other possibility is that it is technically possible for a trolleybus to use streetcar overhead by towing a 'skate' in the grooved streetcar rail, but that is a pretty unusual solution and I'd be surprised if Muni would try it in modern traffic.

I'm not sure what to do about this. Can anyone throw any light on this?. -- Chris j wood 00:03, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That's a tough one. ;) The current generation of trolleybuses used in SF are able to run quite far on internal battery power. I was once on a #30 bus when power on the trolley wires failed. It made it all the way from somewhere out beyond Galileo High to Columbus and Powell before the batteries finally ran dry. I could imagine that you could run a fair way 'round the Embarcadero even if there aren't any "return" wires, and farther if there were "recharging" stations. Perhaps an expert will come along and clear this up for us.
Atlant 00:53, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Chris, this happened to me when I was in San Francisco in March 2004: I was waiting for the F Market at Fisherman's Wharf for quite a while, and someone told me that a streetcar had broken down and was blocking traffic. A few minutes later a standard Muni bus appeared and drove us along the F route down the Embarcadero, through the reserved right of way, and onto Market (where I got off, since I was transferring to the N Judah). I *thought* that it was a trollybus, but I suppose I could be misremembering and it could have been a standard diesel bus. Usually it's easy to tell because the trollybuses are so much quieter, but because the pavement around F line tracks is cobbled, the tires running on the cobblestones made quiet a racket.
As an additional data point: I'm certain that the destinaton sign on the front of the bus indicated that it was an F, and it was a standard Muni rollsign (not one of the newer electronic signs). That stuck in my mind because it made me think that this was apparently not unusual for there to be bus substitution on this line. --Jfruh 01:04, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

From Rick Laubscher, President, Market Street Railway 23:05 23 March 2005

While the Market Street segment of the F-line is wired for trolley coach operation, and there is a turning loop near the F-line Castro terminal (used by its predecessor, the 8-Market trolley coach line), trolley coaches do not substitute for streetcars on this route. Diesel buses do. The F-line has been planned for more than 20 years, and in service for 10 (at least along Market Street) so even the oldest operating Muni diesel buses have "F-Market" on their Mylar roll signs (as they do the other streetcar lines for similar subsitution reasons). Any F-line buses you rode on The Embarcadero would have had to have been diesel. In the past year, bus substitution has unfortunately been common, due to the extremely high passenger demand on the line, which has overwhelmed the fleet. When the ex-Newark streetcars begin arriving late in 2005, this situation will ease.

Well that is pretty much a definative response; I've removed the reference to trolley coach substitution. Speaking personally, can I congratulate Rick and his team on a wonderful job of bringing the F line back, -- Chris j wood 00:15, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I know this is an old discussion, but if i might shed some light on the situation, along Market street, the street cars actually use the trolley bus electric wires... they just one of them. Trolleybuses along Market St. predate the F Market, so the trolleys are working on the trolleybus wires, not the other way around. I don't know if Muni strung a pair of cables along the Embarcadero, but if they did, it would be possible for the trolley buses to operate the length of the F Market. RickyCourtney 21:11, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

I do not think the situation has eased just yet... -Goodshoped 05:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

This is a simple problem shared by other cities that run streetcars (or trams) and trolley busses on a shared power system. Generally on a trolley bus power system, there are two overhead wires. The right hand wire (usually but schemes may, of course, vary) is the positive wire and is live relative to ground (or earth). The left hand wire, often designated the negative wire is actually grounded (there have been a few unusual systems where the two wires are floating - that is not grounded).
With this knowledge, it is simple to see how a combined streetcar, trolley bus system can be powered. The grounded 'negative' (left hand) wire is connected to the grounded streetcar tracks. A trolley bus connects to both overhead wires in the usual manner. A streetcar connects its single trolley pole to the positive wire only - returning its current via the track in the usual manner.
In London, trams (streetcars) on a few routes had to be equipped with two trolley poles to operate in the area around Greenwich as the Royal Observatory located there were worried about the effects of the relatively large tram return (ground) currents affecting their instrumemts. The tram supply was thus not grounded. With the abandonment of tram operation in London in the 1950's, conversion to trolley bus operation was a relatively trivial exercise in the Greenwich area necessitating only the removal of the tracks. Float operation was continued in the area until trolley busses were, in their turn, scrapped just twenty years later. When the railways through the area were electrified in the 1930's, a conventional grounded third rail scheme was used as, by then, the observatory had discovered that the currents would not affect them. (talk) 18:47, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Would the E line run PCCs?[edit]

I've heard the E line, as discussed in this article, proposed for years. However, the Muni Metro extension from Embarcadero to SBC Park is a modern light rail line, not a streetcar line, with high-platform above-ground stations, if I'm remembering correctly. Thus, wouldn't the proposed E Line need to run standard LRVs rather than PCCs?

--Jfruh 14:40, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

All the references I've seen refer to it as running heritage cars from the same fleet as the F line (albeit obviously an enlarged fleet). See for more on this. Don't forget that the existing F line already has short high-platforms at (almost) all stops for ADA reasons, so there should be no problem in the heritage cars running through the high-platform stations between the subway mouth and the Caltrain depot. I'm guessing that they will actually stop (for ambulant passengers) at adjacent low-level platforms; although I don't recall reading anything specific on this. -- Chris j wood 16:34, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I should look at my references more thoroughly. On left of the page I quote the url of above are some photographs of the low platforms, which in at least one case is complete. Also I see they are talking about extending beyond Caltrain. I'm kind of impressed by these photos; when I wrote the section on extensions I was feeling a bit cynical about when and if the E would actually happen (as you say, it has been discussed for years without happening). But if they have actually built the platforms, perhaps it is go this time. -- Chris j wood 16:54, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I still wonder about running heritage cars through the Fort Mason tunnel though. Generally cars running through tunnels need to meet stricter fire regulations than normal; an example being London's Docklands Light Railway which was forced to replace its entire fleet of more or less brand new LRVs when it opened a tunnelled extension. Presumably the PCC cars will be ok, as San Francisco, Newark and Philedelphia have all had streetcar subways for longer than they have had PCCs, but the Peter Witt and vintage fleets would seem doubtful given the extensive use of wood in their bodies. -- Chris j wood 17:11, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

From Rick Laubscher, President, Market Street Railway 23:00, 23 March 2005

The current plan is to use the same mix of vintage cars on the E-line as on the F-line: PCCs, Milan trams, and older streetcars. (The emerging convention in the US is to call authentic antique streetcars "vintage" and replicas "heritage" so I'll stick with that.) As mentioned, low platforms with wheelchair ramps have already been built on the right side of the N-line trackage on the southern Embarcadero (which uses center high platforms, unsuitable for single-end vintage cars, which have no left-side doors. We also anticipate no problems operating vintage streetcars through the short (three block) Fort Mason Tunnel, which is currently undergoing a seismic evaluation, the early results of which indicate no serious issues.

And I'm also wondering what's with the Boeing over at Duboce yard. Is it going to be restored for the E/F-Line? -Goodshoped 00:55, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The map[edit]

Darkcore, thank you for the very nice map!

Atlant 20:16, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the new museum[edit]

The San Francisco Railway Museum will be opening soon. Can more information be added here regarding exhibits and educational programs like the teaching trolley? n2xjk 19:05, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

The San Francisco Railway Museum Wikipedia article is now up. Please feel free to add information to that page. Iandailey 18:06, 26 February 2007

Article name change?[edit]

Shouldn't this article be titled "F Market and Wharves" instead of "F Market"? That's the official title Muni has given to the line (see Muni Metro Map and Muni website). Iandailey 18:19, 26 February 2007

Table of streetcars foamers interest?[edit]

If the fleet status from here considered foamer's content? Goodshoepd35110s 04:40, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I would like to create a subpage demonstrating all the PCC and tram status, but not making it foamers interest. If approved, a partial list would appear on this article, while the full status will show on another page. -Goodshoped 05:13, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Text and map inconsistent with diagram[edit]

The text and map consistently show a route from the Jones and Beach to 17th and Castro, which as far as I'm aware is the full extent of the line. The diagram shows an out-of-use extension to San Jose and Geneva. I'm guessing that the diagram's author did this to reflect the route F cars operate over to and from their carshed, but that is just a guess, and most readers are going to puzzled by this inconsistency. Surely either the diagram, or the map and text, should be amended to be consistent, and to explain. -- Chris j wood 16:31, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes. When the cars are pulling in or pulling out, they are in service on the J, then turn left at 17th to the Castro terminal. As for pulling in, they stop at 17th & Noe, turn left at 17th, and turn right at Church to follow the J and makes a left into Geneva Division. -Goodshoped 05:00, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
At times, the F line streetcars will serve the San Jose/Geneva extension when they are coming in and out of Geneva Yard, the F streetcar storage yard. So the text should be changed to reflect this. —Kurykh 05:32, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Are you saying that the cars run in service (ie carrying passengers) on these routings?. If not, then I'd still question whether including their out of service routing to their storage yard is not more confusing than helpful. Perhaps a textual note describing the route may be justified, but I think the effect of doubling the size of the route map in this way is unjustified. Perhaps others may have a view?. -- Chris j wood 11:13, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
In fact, these cars run in service on these routings according to (a) Google Transit, and (b) SFMTA's trip planner.

Section 'Streetcar Activity'[edit]

What do people think about this section. I suspect that current activity information (what is running this day/week/month) is simply too volatile for an encyclopedia. -- Chris j wood 11:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

That's why there's another article with the streetcars. You can go right ahead an ddelete the section, except the 'main article' section. Why bother duplicating? -Goodshoped 01:00, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Dropped the line diagram from the infobox[edit]

Reluctantly (because somebody obviously put a lot of work into it) I've dropped the line diagram from the infobox. I've done this because:

  • It makes the infobox way too intrusive on the actual article. Infoboxes should support the text, not overwelm it.
  • It is misleading, because it implies the line stretches to Geneva car sheds, when in fact it terminates at Castro. The fact that the route is used by cars running into and out of service doesn't make it part of the line.
  • We already have a geographically based map that shows the same information in (IMHO) a more useful way.

-- Chris j wood (talk) 16:58, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I was the one who created the infobox diagram. I don't mind the removal, and understand your concerns. —Kurykh 19:48, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Interactive map nearby map[edit]

I moved interactive map link from external links section to map caption. For me it is more clear and straightforward but feel free to undo this if this is not compatibile with wikipedia policies.

-- (talk) 15:59, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

great article![edit]

I just stumbled on this article, and wow, it is really great! Thanks, well done. 1fish2 (talk) 21:03, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

F Market & Wharves and E Embarcadero Merger Proposal[edit]

I propose that this article be merged with the E Embarcadero article. Both are heritage streetcar lines run by Muni and they use the same rail line between Fisherman's Wharf and the Ferry Building. Link to the other article's talk page: Talk:E Embarcadero#F Market & Wharves and E Embarcadero Merger Proposal. Jackdude101 (Talk) 16:30, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Two services partially sharing a rail do not make them the same line. Blackguard 19:15, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
My point is both lines are part of the same system. What I am proposing is to have one article with both of these lines of the San Francisco heritage streetcar system included. It would be a similar format to the article for the San Francisco cable car system. That system also has multiple lines, yet they are all combined into a single article, which seems much more useful than having individual articles for each line. It's better to see both heritage streetcar lines in a single article, so the reader can have a better understanding of the whole system rather than having to click back and forth between two separate articles. Jackdude101 (Talk) 15:30, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm also inclined to oppose – the two lines have different histories, etc., so a merge idea is not a good fit here. --IJBall (contribstalk) 21:52, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose Building on the above on principle, merges tend to make information disappear. Merging tends to blur details. We can wikilink and duplicate text where appropriate. We can create a unified article about the mutual information. There is no advantage to merging. Trackinfo (talk) 22:44, 12 May 2016 (UTC)
  • The question is whether the lines have enough notability for their own article. But since even all the "ordinary" streetcar lines in SF have articles on their own, this can be assumed as given. One possiblity, though, would be to extract the heritage railway system into its own article and have the two line articles reduced to be articles only about the lines, not the cars and such. --PaterMcFly talk contribs 07:07, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
  • I am inclined to oppose as well, simply because with the exception of the cable cars, most rail transit systems on Wikipedia have individual articles on the lines themselves. --haha169 (talk) 05:43, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • It appears that this discussion failed to attract support, so I am removing the proposed merge tag from both articles. CapitalSasha ~ talk 00:08, 11 March 2017 (UTC)