San Francisco is… history on wheels

My persistent feeling of déjà vu, when I first saw these museums on wheels rolling up and down the roads of San Francisco, increased tenfold once we boarded one; I was sure I’d been there before. It didn’t take long to notice familiar touches: the beautiful wooden details, the elegant curves, the Italian signs… and that’s when I remembered.

It was on a trip to Milan in Italy, a lifetime ago, that I had first boarded an identical streetcar (or tram to us, Europeans). I remember distinctly standing behind the driver, fascinated by the mere fact that the steering wheel and brake lever,  which seemed to have time-travelled from the roaring 1920s, actually still worked. Little did I know that, thirty years later, I would ride again on one of these gems – in San Francisco, of all places. For this street car happened to be one of the fleet of Italian cars acquired from Milan, specifically for the F Line. For all I know, it could have been the same one.

The ”Milan” tram in colour ⇒⇓

PCC streetcars are painted in honour of the many cities that operated them.
No. 1076 commemorates Washington D.C.  ⇒⇓

And, finally, the iconic cable cars. Although part of the city’s public transport system, they are always packed with tourists, which seem to render them a no-go zone for locals, at least during peak hours. ⇒⇓

July 6th, 2017


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