The (City of Brotherly) Love Train

Blackpool.jpgOkay, I’ve only lived in San Francisco for six months, so this is probably old news to most of you, but I felt compelled to Google today after seeing a Philadelphia streetcar trolling down Market this morning. Little did I know that on any given day, I could see streetcars from Cincinnati, New Orleans (the original streetcar named “Desire,” I kid you not), Baltimore and Boston, as well as the far-flung hamlets of Hamburg, Milan, Kobe and Melbourne.

Check out The Market Street Railway‘s fleet online. Apparently, there are a lot of Philadelphia cars, including the 1054 “Cream Cheese,” thusly named for its resemblance to the Kraft-packaged condiment and sadly “severely damaged on November 16, 2003, when it was rear-ended by an LRV on San Jose Avenue during routine brake tests for the PCC.” Rest in peace, 1054. I barely (okay never) knew thee.

It’s hard to choose a favorite. I was going to go with the 351, straight outta Johnstown, PA (about 50 miles from my hometown), but I guess I’ll go with the ever-popular 228 Blackpool model, pictured above. I hear this weekend’s supposed to clear up. Maybe they’ll bust out ol’ 228 for a ride.

3 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on March 4th, 2005 @ 5:47 pm

    I love the cars from Milan. Though they are loud and not the most comfortable things ever, they remain the closest I’ve gotten to the mother-country yet and they still have Italian ads and placards all around – giving me a chance to practice my Italiano.

    Va bene!


  2. MattyMatt (unregistered) on March 5th, 2005 @ 11:15 am

    the blackpool car is amazing, and completely weird. they only bust it out like 5 days out of the year, and its design is so striking that when you see it rolling by like nothing’s unusual it sort of feels like some other transit system has invaded muni. which would probably be a good thing.


  3. SEAN (unregistered) on March 5th, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

    My favorite’s gotta be the Boston one, for equally sentimental reason. I sent a framed picture of several of the street cars to my mom. Turns out she road the Boston one to school every morning growing up. Aww…



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