Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Future E-Line to Fort Mason

I went on a little jaunt this afternoon along the future E-Line to see what i could see. What I found was most interesting. As I got on the streetcar, as usual it was a crush load at the Embarcadero station so I hopped in the back door and paid when I got to the Wharf.


Several guys from New York City came on as well. They were to get off at Pier 39 so they gave me a fiver to pay with because they couldn't get to the front. I think they trusted me after I showed them that I had a pin on my bag that had the same MSR logo that was all over the inside of the car. After paying the five and my $1.50 the driver asked me where he could get the pin as I told him the story about the New Yorkers.



So I got off and walked down to where the new line would be extended to Fort Mason. I saw the tracks in the ground left from a bygone era and was wondering how slow the streetcar would have to go or how they would allow pedestrians and streetcars along the waterfront.


From the picture above, if you turn around and walk towards Fort Mason you can see the single track tunnel that was carved out for freight to the piers during the early years. Streetcar routes with tunnels or private ROW still operate, however this one was abandoned and never put into streetcar service.

South Portal Fort Mason Streetcar

As I was walking around to the other side of the tunnel I also saw a skunk on the hill above the Fort Mason docks. It was pretty brave of this fellow to be out in broad daylight (or dark foggy evening) but nevertheless there he was. I wasn't going to mess with him but he was at a pretty good distance.


Finally as I got to the other side I could get a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge behind the West Portal of the streetcar tunnel. This is where the streetcar will move out to the Marina giving its residents their first rail link in over 50 years. How exciting!




Anonymous said...

Here's hoping the E line gets to Fort Mason soon.

One minor correction: that isn't an old streetcar tunnel; it's an old railroad tunnel, part of the northernmost section of the State Belt Railroad, which used to carry freight to the waterfront. The railroad also carried troop trains up to Fort Mason, through that tunnel. There's an old photo of the tunnel here:

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Thanks Christof, i made some changes to the post based on your info!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea that needs to happen now! As long as we can balance aesthetics and efficiency, this will be a big hit.