12 August 2015

Pacific Electric and fun on street cars


Visited the San Francisco bay area back in July and enjoy plenty of rides on tracks.
From the Airport I took the BART Train to the Embarcadero and later got on a street car much like the one pictured above. The next day I rode more BART and street cars and topped off the day with a ride on a California Line cable car. All the street cars in the Market Street and Wharf areas are historic and either restored to original livery or given a paint to honor a certain street car line from elsewhere.
The Pacific Electric car above is one such repainted. It originally served the city of Philadelphia. Pacific Electric was a line in southern California with some connections to the Southern Pacific Railroad. The store of the line is no unlike others in America. Rapid growth as people moved outside the city centers and then some ebbs with automobile use increases until finally became uneconomical to maintain the service. Really it is hard to understand how we let these modes of transport die away. There were some scandals concerning the eventual demise of Pacific, not unlike the street cars lines in the Twin Cities. But the business model of Pacific relied on the land development and that can only go on for so long.
Riding in historic street cars is really fun so if you get to the Bay Area take a ride.

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